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Hazard Lights

Brandy D. Rood, Esquire

State Law Prohibits the use of Hazard Lights on a Moving Vehicle.

As I drove home from work yesterday, it started pouring. Growing up, I remember my mom called this kind of rain “white rain” as all you can see ahead of you is a wall of rain and mist. I merged into the right lane and slowed down. Semi-trucks began passing me on the left, blocking the setting sun as I said to myself “As I drive in the valley of the shadow of death.” (Kidding, a little). I approached a car going slower than me and saw that they had their hazard lights on. As I got closer and closer, I couldn’t tell if the car was stopped or moving. When the hazards would go off, it was difficult to see the car at all. Not knowing what the car in front of me was doing, I merged into the left lane (between 2 semi-trucks in my tiny car) and passed the moving vehicle who had his hazards on.

It made me think—is it safe, or even LEGAL, to drive with your hazards on? According to Florida law, it is ILLEGAL to drive with your hazards on. Flashing lights are prohibited unless it is a turn signal, an intermittent flashing of your lights, or it is an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, police car, or firetruck. Although it is not very strictly enforced, if you drive with your hazards on, you could get a ticket for more than $100.00!

Hazard lights indicate that a vehicle is stopped, broken down, or needs assistance. When hazard lights are on, it affects the way the turn signal and brake lights work. Therefore, it makes it difficult for drivers around you to tell if you are stopping or turning.

As the rainy season approaches, remember to turn your lights on when it is raining, but limit the use of your flashers to the instances when you are stopped or need assistance. If you cannot see while driving, pull over and wait for the rain to slow down. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact our firm today for a free consultation with an attorney.

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