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Dangers of Misusing Your Hazard Lights

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How many times have you seen a car parked directly outside the entrance of Prien Lake Mall, with its hazard lights on—but no one inside? How about outside CHRISTUS St. Patrick, again with its hazard lights on—blocking a crosswalk because someone was being dropped off?

A lot of people think that as long as they use their hazard lights, they can drive and park wherever and however they want. This is not the case! Hazard lights, as the name suggests, are only supposed to be used as a warning to other drivers that you may be experiencing a problem. They’re not supposed to be used as a means to forgive reckless or careless driving.

Menace of Misusing Your Hazard Lights

Although it is a common occurrence to see drivers with hazard lights on at inappropriate or irritating times, this doesn’t give you the right to follow suit. Not only is it frustrating that people think they can do whatever they want as long as their hazards are on, but it can also be extremely dangerous.

Some risks include:

  • Blocking traffic and causing backups and potential obstruction of emergency vehicles.
  • Increased road rage.
  • Increased risk of being rear-ended.
  • Causing collisions if parked too closely to an intersection.
  • Increased danger for Good Samaritans who attempt to pull over, stop, or cross traffic to help with what they assume to be a problem.

No parking zones and emergency lanes are marked for a reason, and should never be used by non-emergency personnel—unless you yourself have an emergency situation. Hazard lights are not a “get out of jail” free card when it comes to reckless driving or inappropriate parking. Warning other cars that you may have a problem, or that your car may be temporarily obstructing traffic in a legal zone is fine, but never use your hazards as an excuse to be careless—not only could you cause an accident, but you could also suffer serious injuries.

Getting ahead of someone or parking 10-feet closer than a legal spot would allow, isn’t worth the potential danger and risks that follow misusing your hazards. Traffic laws and parking spots are there for a reason, and hazard lights have their own purpose. Take the extra time to be respectful and safe and don’t abuse your hazard lights unless something is wrong.

Have you recently been involved in an accident with someone who was misusing his hazards? Contact us today for a free consultation about your rights and whether or not you're entitled to damages and compensation for your injuries. We may be able to help you get the justice and settlement you need and deserve. Call today!

Category: Auto Accidents


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