Nov 13

Are Hazard Lights While Driving in the Rain Illegal in Florida?

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We have all likely driven through one of Florida’s downpours where it is tough to see in front of you. We may even slow down considerably to drive more safely. Should you turn on your hazard lights to let the other drivers know you have slowed down to a crawl? The answer may surprise you.

hazard lights in the rainUnder Florida law, it is illegal to turn on your hazard lights while driving in the rain. Florida Statute 316.2397(7)(a) states that flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except as a means of indicating a right or left turn, to change lanes, or to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully stopped or disabled upon the highway. If you turn on your hazard lights, you are breaking the law. The only one situation where Florida drivers are allowed to use their hazards when in motion is when the vehicle is being used in a funeral procession.

The reasoning behind the prohibition of using the hazard lights when moving is because flashing hazard lights actually reduce visibility and can confuse other drivers. Other drivers would not be able to see a car’s turn signal or brake lights if the hazard lights are on. In addition, other drivers, including law enforcement and rescue vehicle, would assume that you are stopped or stalled in the roadway if you have your hazard lights on.

The Florida Highway Patrol recommends that if visibility is so bad that you cannot see, pull over in a parking lot, plaza or somewhere safe until conditions improve. Don’t use your hazard lights unless you want a $129 fine.

Drive safely and watch out for those who don’t!

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