Be honest – do you ever use your hazard lights to thank other road users, or to help you park on busy roads?
Take stock. These small acts of courtesy could actually land you with points on your licence, or even cost you huge fines…
The reality is that incorrect use of hazard lights can see drivers issued with penalties for motoring offences, including fines of up to £5,000 for dangerous driving.
According to the Highway Code, hazard warning lights may only be used when your vehicle is stationary, to warn other motorists that your car is broken down or obstructing the road.
Hazard lights must not be used while a vehicle is in motion or being towed, unless you’re on an unrestricted dual carriageway and need to warn other drivers about a disruption up ahead.
Using your hazard lights alongside indicators is also prohibited, as it could confuse other motorists, causing them to continue driving at speed without realising the need to slow down.
Drivers should only use their hazard lights for long enough to ensure that their signal has been observed.
Motorists are being warned about using their hazard lights as a way of thanking other road users who let them out at junctions, or as a way to help them park illegally on busy roads.
In adverse weather, such as heavy rain or fog, hazard warning lights may dazzle other motorists, causing them to lose concentration behind the wheel.
Driving without due care and attention could land drivers with a £100 fine and three penalty points. However, if the case is deemed serious enough to go to court, charges may increase to up to £5,000 for charges of dangerous driving.
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, urged motorists to use their lights sensibly to avoid facing penalties.
He said: “It is a grey area because you can use them when moving to alert other traffic to a hazard ahead and they don’t define ‘only use them long enough to ensure that your warning has been observed’.
“So, our advice would be to use them sensibly and for the police to be as flexible as possible in enforcing the regulations.”
Weren’t aware of the rules around hazard lights? Here are some other common driving laws you could be breaking every day.