Are You Using Your Hazards Correctly?

How often do you turn on your hazard lights? And when you use them, are you doing so correctly? The answer is more complicated than you might expect.

In some states, you’re free to drive with your hazards on whenever you think you might need them. In others, though, there must be some kind of road hazard present – like a rock slide – in order to have your hazards turned on.

Virginia Hazard Light Laws

In Virginia, we’re limited in this sense: “Hazard light use is not permitted while driving except for emergency vehicles, stopped or slowed vehicles to indicate a traffic hazard, when traveling as part of a funeral procession, or traveling slower than 30 mph.”[For more information on the laws in your state, click here.]

What Defines An Emergency Situation?

But what exactly defines an emergency situation? And what’s the harm in being overly cautious, in turning on your hazards during a bad thunderstorm or while you’re transporting furniture during your move across town?

It turns out, there’s actually a lot of potential harm done by misusing your hazards.

In some vehicles, turn signals are disabled when you turn on your hazard lights. Even if they’re still working, it can be difficult for other drivers to distinguish your turn signal lights from your hazards. Confusing other drivers is never good, especially when you’re in a potentially dangerous situation.

It’s also possible for other motorists to become confused about the reasons for your hazards. They might take their eyes from the road to look out for falling rocks, bad weather, or other dangers. While they are busy looking for the hazard, they could be disrupting the flow of traffic, endangering everyone around!

Do You Need a Virginia Auto Accident Lawyer?

The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC is a Virginia personal injury law firm helping victims of accidents caused by the  negligence of another. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact our law firm to discuss you legal rights. Setup a free, no obligation, consultation today 877-544-5323.