Hazard lights can potentially save you from a traumatic accident. However, their misuse can put you at an increased risk of a traffic accident.

Hazard Light Misuse Puts You and Others At an Increased Risk of a Collision

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Every light on and in your car has a specific purpose and should only be used at specific times for that purpose. Despite this simple concept, many motorists misuse their lights by failing to use them at the appropriate time or by using them whenever they feel like it. Unfortunately, this misuse is not only annoying but also dangerous.

One light, in particular, can cause great risk if misused. That light is known as the hazard light.

Dangers Created by Misusing Hazard Lights

Hazard lights are supposed to only be used as an indicator of a potential traffic hazard. Despite this clear instruction, motorists use their hazards every day as a way to park illegally, sit outside stores, and make up their own traffic rules. As a result, they not only put themselves at risk, but they put every other driver, pedestrian, and biker at risk as well.

Improper hazard light use can cause the following risks:

  • Obstruction of emergency vehicles. Using your hazards to drive on the shoulder or park illegally can delay emergency vehicles from getting to their destinations.
  • Collisions. Since hazards are used to indicate a potential problem, when other cars see your blinking lights, they may slam on their breaks or swerve to avoid you. If there is not actually a hazard ahead, you could be creating a problem that didn’t exist. If you do have a legitimate problem and need to stop, indicate the issue with the hazards and then slowly make your way to a safe destination to park. Likewise, if you use your hazards to park in the prohibited area near corners and intersections, you run the risk of a turning collision
  • Road rage accidents. Although you may not see the problem with taking advantage of your hazards to quickly pop into a store or maneuver around traffic congestion, other drivers may not feel the same as you. You actions may increase their frustration and ultimately increase the risk of a road rage accident.
  • Good Samaritan injuries. Although you may be just waiting for someone, if you’re pulled over with your hazards on, the lights indicate a potential disaster that may require assistance. By doing this, you invite good Samaritans to risk their well-being to help you with what they assume to be a “hazardous” problem.

When used properly, hazard lights are extremely helpful to prevent accidents and warn fellow motorists of potential danger. However, when used improperly, they can be a beacon for disaster. Don’t be the guy responsible for another person’s injury just because you felt you needed to break the rules. Follow the rules and protect yourself, your family, and your community.

For more information on car safety, feel free to browse our extensive library of articles or contact us toll-free at 800.636.3676 to discuss your questions and concerns. You never know what piece of information may wind up saving your life down the road.

Category: Car Accidents


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