What is Car Hazard Lights and How to Use It in Right Way?

You pull up to the bank, but there are no open parking spots. You’re already in a hurry, so you double park and turn on your hazard lights. Good use of hazard lights, or bad? It’s time to find out! Your car’s hazard lights can communicate with other drivers in a flash, however, there are right and wrong times to use them.

To help you stay safe and legal on the road, we’ve highlighted some scenarios where you should avoid using them, other instances when it’s probably the right thing to do, and the general hazard light laws by state.

Before we tell you how to use the lights, let us look at how NOT to use them.

It is quite interesting to see how most of the drivers use the Hazard lights.

  • There is a huge misconception of using the warning lights during heavy rail or in low visibility. Well, this is something that is really confusing to other drivers.
  • Turning on hazard lights when entering a dark tunnel is indeed a bad option. Are you serious?
  • In most of the Indian cars, while running these lights the turn indicators don’t work. (VW group is an exception here). This makes it impossible to indicate when turning or changing lanes out on the highway.
  • Some awesome people on a crossing turn their hazard lights to indicate that they want to go straight. Like Seriously?

In simple words, it is very unsafe using hazard lights in the above ways or when the car is in motion.

Consider using your car’s hazard lights when:

Long story short, it is not recommended to use these lights when the vehicle is in motion. This includes every possible situation where the car is moving be it bad weather or low visibility. Turning the hazard lights on may lead to many misunderstandings. Under low visibility, one can also assume that the car moving car in front is stationary which is very fatal.

One can use these warning lights when the car is parked safely at the left-most corridor of the highway or any road. Turning on the hazard is a good idea when changing a flat tyre obviously at the side of the roads.

Indicating a broken vehicle standing on the side is also a fairly good idea. Along with that, it is also recommended to place the hazard triangle on the road.

  • Getting pulled over: If law enforcement signals you to pull over, turning on your hazard lights can show the officer that you acknowledge their signal and are following the request. Slow down, turn on your hazard lights, and stop your car in a safe location.
  • Changing a tire on the side of the road: Use your hazard lights when your vehicle becomes a potential hazard for other road users. If you’re parked on the side of the road changing a tire, it’s generally okay to have your hazards on.
  • Your car has broken down and you’re waiting for a tow: Your car has become a temporary hazard and you’re waiting for assistance. Warn other drivers of your presence, especially if you are not able to move your car out of traffic.
  • Driving in a funeral procession: Funeral processions are an exception to most hazard light guidelines. It’s customary for vehicles in a funeral procession to drive with their hazard lights on, even when it is otherwise prohibited by law.
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Avoid using your car’s hazard lights when:

  • Driving in bad weather. With your hazards on and rain or snow already blurring road visibility, other drivers may not be able to tell which lane you’re in or if you’re changing lanes. Turn on your headlights and taillights in inclement weather instead. If the weather is bad enough that you feel hazard lights are truly necessary, pull off the road and stop until conditions improve.
  • Driving in heavy traffic. While your hazards can make you more visible, they can also make it challenging for other drivers to anticipate what you’re doing and where you’re headed, since turn signals are disabled when hazards are activated in some cars.
  • Parking illegally. Parking illegally is never a good idea. But if you do park illegally…turning on your hazard lights doesn’t make it legal. Keep driving until you find an appropriate parking spot and won’t be blocking traffic.
  • A turn signal will do the job. If you’re slowing down to exit the highway due to an unexpected problem, think twice before using your hazards. As we mentioned before, turn signals are generally disabled when your flashers are on. That can make it difficult for other drivers to know where you’re going and could result in a crash.

Know the hazard light laws in your state.

Hazard light laws differ across the U.S. In some states, it’s acceptable to use your hazard lights while driving. In others, it’s only okay to turn on your hazard lights while driving if “the vehicle speed is 25 mph or less,” like in Colorado, or “to indicate a traffic hazard,” like in California.

Below is a brief list of hazard light laws by state per AAA, but make sure to review your state’s specific laws and guidelines before making any assumptions.

Use of hazard lights is generally permitted while drivingUse of hazard lights is NOT permitted while drivingUse of hazard lights is NOT permitted while driving, except in emergency or other specified scenarios
New HampshireNew MexicoMinnesota
New JerseyRhode IslandMaine
New YorkTennesseeMaryland
North CarolinaWyomingMontana
North DakotaPuerto RicoOhio
South CarolinaWashington
South DakotaWest Virginia

Even with your hazards on, stopping your car near traffic can be dangerous. Anything you can do to prevent having to pull over in the first place is worth considering.


What is hazard light in car?

Emergency flashers or hazard lights are activated when a driver pushes the hazard light button/switch. The lights warn other drivers of an emergency situation you may be in or that your car is parked on the side of the road. All four turn signal lights turn on when you activate your emergency flasher.

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When should I use my hazard lights when driving?

Here are some situations where you should use your hazard lights.

  • You’re getting pulled over by a police officer.
  • You get into a car accident.
  • Your car breaks down.
  • You’re changing a tire.
  • You’re driving in a funeral procession.
  • Illegal parking.
  • Driving in bad weather.
  • Slowing down to exit the highway.

How do you turn off hazard lights on a car?

Whether your headlamps are on or off, you can always flash your headlamps by pulling the stalk toward you and releasing it. In an emergency, press the hazard button to flash all of the turn signal lights. To turn them off, press the button again.

How do you turn on your hazard lights?

Should you use hazard lights in heavy rain?

“When it’s raining, don’t make sure your hazards are on; make sure your headlights are on,” he said. And don’t switch to high beams in rainy or foggy conditions “because the light will reflect back and cause glare,”.

Do hazards stay on when car off?

Yes! Hazard lights can drain the battery of your car. Any electrical device in your vehicle can become a drain if it’s left on such as headlights, radios, and even door pins. These things can be problematic if they are left operating when your vehicle’s motor is off.

How should you sit in a car seat?

The angle of your seat back should be a little greater than a perpendicular 90 degrees. At 100 to 110 degrees, the seat will put the least pressure on your back. Leaning too far back forces you to push your head and neck forward, which can cause neck and shoulder pain and tingling in the fingers.

When would you use your L or l2 gear?

L “Low” for first gear like when you’re pulling a load, or want to keep the car in first like going up a hill. 2 “second gear when you want to start out with less torque like on snow/ice.

Should you use hazard lights in fog?

Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination. Make your vehicle visible to others both ahead of you and behind you by using your low-beam headlights since this means your taillights will also be on. Use fog lights if you have them. Never use your high-beam lights.

Where is the hazard button?

What does flashing hazard lights mean?

Hazard lights are the indicator lights that are flashing together are used to warn other drivers in case of emergency.

How do you turn your blinkers off?

How do you use car flashers?

Consider using your car’s hazard lights when: Slow down, turn on your hazard lights, and stop your car in a safe location. Changing a tire on the side of the road. Use your hazard lights when your vehicle becomes a potential hazard for other road users.

Why won’t my hazard lights turn off?

Check the switch to the hazard lights and see if the switch got stuck. Sometimes the switch tends to stick and make the hazard lights stay on. If the switch is working, then the contacts in the switch have burned and fused together. Remove the fuse and remove the switch and replace it.

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Do hazard lights come on automatically in an accident?

Yes, modern vehicles do this. They can also activate the hazard lights in an emergency braking situation, so even before/no impact.

Why you should never use your hazard lights while driving in the rain?

Hazard lights can actually reduce visibility making other drivers think you are stopped or stalled. They make it difficult to see if motorists ahead are tapping on the brakes and they don’t allow you to use your turn signals.

Why do people turn on flashers during rain?

Emergency flashers are for emergencies, or to alert other drivers to an unexpected hazard. Rain or snow is not an emergency, the other drivers are in it too and they can see it.

What lights do I use in rain?

Explanation Low beam headlights should be used in fog, rain, and snow. The light from high beams will reflect back to the driver under these weather conditions, causing a glare that will make it difficult to see ahead.

How long can a car light stay on?

Most car batteries have a capacity of 45 Ah and a vehicle electrical system voltage of 12 volts. So if you have left the interior car lights on all night and two small bulbs with 10 watts continue to burn, the battery will only be empty after 27 hours.

Why do my hazard lights flash when my car is off?

The lights staying on after the car has been shut off suggests you may have a corrosion issue in one of the sockets or potentially a shorted-out turn signal switch assembly, which is known to cause this to happen on many cars.

How long can you leave your lights on before your car dies?

Between 30 and 90 minutes is the range for the state of your battery. If you kill the battery, it will be unable to start the car. For several hours, it can run those lights.

Why is the seat behind the driver the safest?

The majority of crashes are frontal impact crashes. Being in the center rear seat is most beneficial of the more rare but more dangerous side-impact crashes. Being in a rear-facing car seat is safer if the crash is front impact as the child’s head, neck and back are all being supported during the crash.

Why is the seat behind the driver the safest?

The majority of crashes are frontal impact crashes. Being in the center rear seat is most beneficial of the more rare but more dangerous side-impact crashes. Being in a rear-facing car seat is safer if the crash is front impact as the child’s head, neck and back are all being supported during the crash.

How do you signal a right arm turn?

For right turns, extend your left arm out the driver’s window with your elbow bent and point your hand to the sky with your palm facing forward. Again, it’s best to keep your arm in this position until you begin your right turn, just as you would leave your turn signals on as you started the turn.

What are car headlights?

A headlamp is a lamp attached to the front of a vehicle to illuminate the road ahead. Headlamps are also often called headlights, but in the most precise usage, headlamp is the term for the device itself and headlight is the term for the beam of light produced and distributed by the device.

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