Flashing lights are often used as a warning for other people on the road. A person typically activates these lights by pushing a red triangle button near the dashboard. When this button is pushed, you will notice the lights on your dashboard flashing in unison. You may also receive auditory feedback, depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle. These lights are important in certain situations; unfortunately, many drivers are puzzled as to when they should use these lights.
As it turns out, the right time to use hazard lights is not as cut-and-dried as many believe. Drivers are encouraged to review the state laws in their state regarding the appropriate use of hazard lights.
Using Hazard Lights While Parked
The Highway Code has detailed information about when these lights can be used. For example, it is illegal to use these lights on a parked vehicle. It is common for people to use hazard lights to communicate to others that they are parking their car temporarily. However, it is still illegal to do this. Your vehicle will likely be towed if you illegally park, especially if you are blocking traffic.
Using Hazards on the Highway
You can use the hazard lights briefly if you must stop on a motorway. The best place to do this is on the side of the road, keeping a safe distance from moving traffic. Hazard lights indicate to other motorists that you are stopped and need assistance.
Using hazard lights when visibility is poor or when weather conditions present a threat has its pros and cons. The laws vary by state as to when you should use hazard lights when your vehicle is in motion. Generally, the Department of Transport states that warning lights can only be used on an unrestricted dual carriageway or a motorway.
When to Avoid Using Hazard Lights
Activating your hazard lights at inappropriate times can be problematic and even illegal. Hazard lights can be confusing for the other drivers on the road if it is not obvious why you are using them. Your brake lights fail to signal to other drivers that you are coming to a stop when you have your hazard lights flashing. In these scenarios, it is best to consult your state laws regarding the use of hazard lights. You may be in a state that encourages hazard lights to flash when weather conditions are poor, or in a state that restricts their use to emergencies only.
Fines for Using Your Hazard Lights at the Wrong Time
There is no standard fine for using your hazard lights at the wrong time. You may be fined if you use your hazard lights while doing something illegal, like double-parking. According to the Highway Code, you can use your hazards while stationary to let the others know that you are blocking traffic. However, illegal or dangerous parking is no excuse to use hazards and could result in fines.
Accidents have occurred because a driver was inappropriately using his hazard lights and the drivers around him. In poor weather, a driver coming to a stop who is flashing his hazard lights appears to be continuing his rate of speed to the drivers behind him. Such accidents can be dangerous, especially on high-speed roads. Car Accident Cases can put you in touch with an attorney who handles accidents caused by hazard lights to help you explore your legal options. You may be able to receive compensation for your losses. Call 516-582-4367 or contact us online.