Turn on Hazard Lights or Not?

Hazard Warning Lights in rain - Copyright: driversprep.com

Should You Turn on Your Hazard Lights?

You should turn on hazard lights:

A.   Whenever you are driving slower than the flow of traffic.
B.   Whenever it is raining hard and you can barely see the road ahead.
C.   Whenever you are double parked.
D.   None of the above.

This is not a real DMV exam question, but it should give you something to think about. Are you one of these drivers that turn on emergency flashers in a heavy downpour or think it is a good idea to use hazard warning lights every time you driver slower than the rest of traffic?

If you are, you are not alone.

But here is a sobering fact that might come as a surprise to you. Driving with your emergency flashers on in these situations is illegal in many states – and for a good reason.

Emergencies Only

In states where driving with activated hazard lights is allowed, this is usually limited to emergencies and hazards only. If there is an unexpected accident ahead, and you need to warn others, then slowing down and activating hazard lights may be allowed. If your steering or brakes fail, you should also warn others with your hazard lights until you can come to a stop in a safe location.

Otherwise, you should refrain from using your emergency flashers, unless you have stopped because of an emergency on the roadway or on the shoulder, and your vehicle may interfere with traffic.

For your DMV test and future safe driving, make sure you know the law in your state. When driving from one state to another, you should check the laws before you embark on your trip. Or to be on the sage side, just be very restrictive when it comes to using emergency flashers.

Double Parking

Of course, double parking is always illegal. Turning on your emergency flashers while you leave your vehicle does NOT make double parking legal.

Get More Information about the Laws in Your State

Read more about when to use emergency flashers

What is the Basic Speed Law?

Reduce speed in bad weather

 

A basic speed law says that you must travel at a speed that is consistent with existing driving conditions. These include weather, traffic, and road conditions.

Or put in other words: No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions.

Such a basic speed law is used in all 50 states.

Remember, it does not always matter what the speed limit sign says.

In bad weather, you must reduce speed. If there are potential hazards on the road, you must also drive slower than the posted speed limit.