One of my pet-peeves in driving is when people abuse the hazard lights in the following situations:
- when a public utility vehicle pulls overs to drop off a passenger. (Note this is from the left lane to the right lane and then throw his/her hazards on).
- when all of a sudden the car in front of you slows down drastically and eventually turns the hazard lights on and then park up on the side.
- when it’s raining hard and all of a sudden the cars around you use the hazard light to signal “drive slow.”
Because, truly, there are still a good number of ignorant drivers driving like crazy even though it’s zero visibility. While I fully understand your predicament, it doesn’t change the situation. This has been an ongoing debate whether or not to use hazard lights in bad weather. Although there’s no definite answer to this, it boils down to avoiding imminent accident due to confusion.
In a succinct manner, hazard lights, flashers, or whatever you want to call it, are used to warn other motorists that you are a temporary hazard (broke down in the middle of the road), says the drivingtips.com.nz.
Relatively, James Deakin, a known automotive journalist, took to Facebook his explanation about why motorists should refrain from using the hazard light when driving in the rain.
In verbatim, he wrote:
Hi guys, I could use a little help getting this message out. Please share if you can.
STOP USING YOUR HAZARD LIGHTS WHEN DRIVING IN THE RAIN. SERIOUSLY. IT IS NOT COOL.
It is not only highly distracting and annoying, it makes you look like one of those FB friends we all have that asks you to type ‘Amen’ on a picture of a child with a rare disease that God will only attend to once it hits a certain number of likes or Amens. Please, you are better than that. We know you are 🙂
I know that some people use the hazards only because they feel safer or more visible with them on. But with respect, it is not a question about how one feels about it. It is simply the incorrect use of the lights. Period. Just like keeping your high beams on when there’s oncoming traffic. I know it makes YOU feel safer, but spare a thought for the other guy who may end up as your hood ornament if you keep doing it. And that is what this is all about.
Think about what would happen if we started feeling like red should really be the color to represent go or we felt more comfortable driving on the left side of the road. See? It wont work. That is precisely why we became signatories of the Vienna Convention––simply to agree on one universal language on the roads.
Now, if you have been using your hazard lights in the rain (or to park illegally while waiting for someone) I’m not hating on you here; I can appreciate that you may have been taught that from an early age by a relative or family driver. But as sincere as they may have been, it does not make it right. But thankfully, now you can make it right.
Hazard lights are designed to let people know when YOU are the hazard, either because you are broken down or there is a problem that is causing you to drive MUCH slower than the rest of moving traffic. Not to let everyone know that it is indeed raining. We know that already. We are right behind you. Speaking of which, we also have no idea if you are turning left or right. Nor is there anything distinguishing you from a car that is actually broken down on the road.
If for any reason you are one of these drivers, please don’t reject this advice simply because that is the way you have always done it. I always thought Paul Young was singing “Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you”. I could never understand why until I finally read the lyrics.
So please, don’t feel embarrassed. The only time it’s embarrassing is when you reject the correct information simply because you have an investment in your mistake.
There you have it, guys. The explanation came from a credible source, so let’s all be responsible and courteous drivers, yeah?
Do you agree with his explanation? Tell us in the comments!
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