They’re recognized by varied names: hazard lights, emergency flashers, warning flashers, four-ways, hazards, flashers or blinkers, relying on what you’ve been taught. The Division of Transportation (DOT) calls them “vehicular hazard warning sign flashers.”
The overall rule of thumb is that blinking hazard lights ought to be employed when your automobile is stopped on the facet of the highway. Their function is to alert different drivers that your automobile is there in order that they don’t hit it, says CarTalk.com. The lights exist to assist guarantee your automobile shouldn’t be a hazard to different drivers.
The messages despatched by flashing hazard lights could also be interpreted some ways, together with to excuse their habits: “You received’t thoughts if I block the road whereas I run in to seize my take-out order, will you?”
It’s necessary for drivers to know that use of hazard lights whereas a automobile is in movement is in opposition to the legislation in some states, however not in others, like Georgia, based on the Johns Creek Police Division.
In case your state does enable use of flashing hazard lights whereas in movement, the motive force’s meant message might range. It might imply “It’s raining, snowing, or foggy and I’m driving slowly so you need to be on alert.”
If driving circumstances trouble you sufficient to have interaction your emergency warning lights for greater than a handful of blinks, you most likely ought to discover a secure spot to tug off the highway. Each the Texas Division of Transportation and the Industrial Driver’s License Guide (CDL) advocate the usage of hazards in fog.
So, whereas the legal guidelines and guidelines can range from state to state, there are some formally sanctioned messages despatched by hazard lights: the CDL tells drivers of 18-wheelers to make use of emergency flashers, “if there’s hassle forward” or when slowly climbing a steep grade, “whether it is authorized.”
Bear in mind that there’s one thing flashers can’t do: Warn others that you simply’re going to show. Since hazard lights take over the flip lamps, the automobile’s directional indicators are sometimes inoperable when your hazards are on. Additionally, some newer automobiles might deactivate the daytime operating lights when the hazards are employed, so your automobile could also be much less seen from the entrance.
Whereas it might appear acceptable to make use of your flashing hazard lights in quite a lot of conditions to speak various completely different messages, it seems one use is usually accepted: your automobile is stopped and also you wish to assist guarantee one other driver doesn’t hit it. When you use your flashers on this approach, you’re prone to talk a transparent sign to different drivers and assist scale back confusion.