When should you use hazard warning lights?

Tuesday 8th September 2020

hazard warning lights

What are hazard warning lights?

Hazard warning lights are used to warn other road users that there is a temporary traffic obstruction. You can access your hazard warning lights by the hazard warning lights button – which is usually either a red triangle with two smaller white or black triangles on it, or a black triangle with red triangles.

Car hazard warning lights use the same bulbs as your indicators – however, they  flash all of your indicators at once, and continue to flash until you turn the hazard warning lights off manually. The hazard warning light button is usually located on your centre console.

When can you use hazard warning lights?

  • If you have broken down
  • If you have had any accident on the road
  • If you need to change a tyre at the side of the road
  • If you have been forced to stop (either because of an upcoming obstruction or by a local authority)
  • If you have an emergency with one of your passengers in the vehicle

You should only use hazard warning lights when your vehicle is stationary – as this will warn other road users that there is an obstruction. The only instance where you should use your hazard lights when moving on the motorway, or an unrestricted dual carriageway, as this will warn drivers behind you of an upcoming obstruction.

When you shouldn’t use hazard warning lights

You should not use your hazard warning lights to warn drivers of parking illegally. Sometimes, people park up temporarily to let someone get out of the car, or quickly nip into a shop – but this is an incorrect use of your hazard lights. You should also never use hazard lights to wave goodbye to someone when driving in convoy, or to thank other drivers on the road.

Your hazard warning lights, as well as all other lights on your vehicle, will be checked during both in a short service and a master service. As part of your car service, we will check your exterior lights operation and the instrument panel for warning lights. Keep your car maintained with regular car servicing – book in your car service now, and locate your nearest Formula One Autocentre.

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