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When should you use your hazard lights?

5th January 2022

As drivers, we have probably all needed to use our hazard warning lights at some point – whether that’s to alert others to an obstruction in the road, or to say thank you to a vehicle. However, it’s important to know when you should use your hazard lights, and when you shouldn’t. Read our handy guide to find out morel.

What are hazard lights?

Hazard warning lights are essential for alerting other motorists of temporary road risks. The warning light is usually a red triangle-shaped sign with two white lines in the middle. Switching on your hazard warning lights will light up a pair of yellow flashing indicator lights, and these hazard lights can only be switched off once you press the button again.  

When can you use hazard warning lights?

You should only use your car hazard lights when the vehicle is stationary. This will warn other motorists that there is an obstruction. The only instance in which you can use your hazard lights whilst the car is moving is if you are on an unrestricted dual carriageway and you are warning drivers about an upcoming obstruction. 

The appropriate times to use hazard warning lights are:

  • If you had a road accident
  • If you have broken down
  • Your tyre needs changing
  • You have been forced to stop by a different obstruction
  • There is an emergency with a passenger in your vehicle

Misconceptions of when you should use your hazard lights

You should not use your hazard warning lights unnecessarily, however, this is often a misconception drivers make while on the road. For example, your hazard lights are not a tool for signalling a ‘thank you’ to other drivers. Another common misuse of the hazard lights is illegal parking. This is not permitted and is potentially dangerous. 

Many cars fail their MOT test each year for something as small as their hazard lights not working correctly. If your vehicle needs servicing, or you simply want to ensure it’s as safe as possible, make sure you visit a local Merityre branch for excellent services and prices. For any other motoring queries, be sure to contact our helpful team