When to use Hazards

“Is this allowed? Can I use my hazards right now? The weather is really bad, I’ll just put on my hazards.”

 

No, it is not allowed. By law, you cannot use hazards while driving. This varies from state to state, however, 13 states do not allow the use of hazards unless stopped. These states include Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico. 

 

When NOT to use your hazard lights:

 

To illegally park: if you are already parking illegally, the use of hazards can indicate another violation. If you are parked illegally for a flat tire or another emergency, put your hazards on, call for help, and stay in or near your vehicle.

 

Driving in bad weather: when you’re driving in bad weather and have your hazards on, your car’s turn signals will not work. This can cause a crash as other drivers do not know if you are going into another lane. If the weather conditions will hinder your driving ability, pull over, put your hazards on to indicate that you are stopped and resume driving once you are comfortable again. 

 

When you can use your hazards:

 

When being pulled over: If a police officer is pulling you over, putting on your hazards signals the officer that you acknowledge your being pulled over and are following their request. 

 

When changing a tire: If your tire has gone flat and you are going to change it, put on your hazards to signal drivers that your vehicle is hazardous and you are getting out of the car. The other drivers will know to go around you.

 

If your car breaks down and you are waiting to be towed: If you are unable to move your car out of traffic when your car breaks down, alert other drivers by putting on your hazards and wait for a tow. 

 

Make sure that you are making proper use of your hazard lights, if not, you may be at risk for a traffic violation. 

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