Hazard warning lights are primarily used to warn other vehicles that there is a problem either with your own car, or there is a hazard in front of them causing them to reduce speed quickly. Hazard lights are also referred to as 4-way flashers as all the indicators on a car flash simultaneously. When you see a car with its hazard warning lights on you should slow down and be aware of your surroundings as you may need to move away from the car leaving a wide berth or slow down to the speed the car is travelling.
All modern cars and some motorcycles are fitted with hazards warning lights and should be used at the appropriate times as taught on your driving lessons.
Hazard warning lights are mostly used by drivers when they have a problem with their car whether this be that it has broke down and is obstructing the road or is in the process of doing so. When on the road you should keep your hazard warning lights on to make other drivers aware that you have a problem, this even applies when you have moved over onto the hard shoulder of a motorway.
Hazard lights can also be used on motorways to warn other drivers of hazards ahead. When going at such fast speeds obstructions on the road can creep up on you at the last minute, however drivers in front can see further up the road and warn drivers behind of the hazards they're approaching to cause less harsh braking and maybe even pile ups on motorways.
There are a few situations where some drivers think that it's acceptable to use your hazard warning lights when in actual fact it isn't. For example when you're lost and travelling slowly on a road, night or day. Your hazard warning lights should never be used whilst you are moving with an exception of when slowing down quickly on a motorway as mentioned above.
Some drivers also think that hazard warning lights can be used to excuse drivers from illegal parking such as parking on double yellow lines or in disabled parking pays. The use of hazard warning lights in these situations won't excuse you from illegal parking and it should never be done. When on your driving lessons you will be shown how to identify whether somewhere is safe, legal and convenient to park and when to use your hazard warning lights.
Your driving theory test is also likely to include a question on when to use your hazard warning lights to test your knowledge of the Highway Code. Make sure you know how to turn your hazard lights on and the appropriate times to use them. If you're unsure how to turn your hazard lights on and off in the car you take your driving lessons in just ask your instructor!
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