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Seeing hazard lights? Slow down and back off

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2022 | Auto Accidents

The summer is a great time of year to go on road trips and to enjoy your time traveling, but there are some risks that you have to keep in mind. Whether there is road construction, bad weather or another issue, you could find that you end up in backed up traffic and have to make quick decisions to keep yourself and your passengers safe and to avoid an auto collision.

One of the things you should always be on the lookout for is slowed traffic with flashing hazard lights. Whenever someone sees a significant hazard, whether it’s hail from a thunderstorm, high winds making it hard to stay in lane, a crash or construction work, they may put on their hazards to let someone else behind them know that they should be cautious.

If you are approaching someone who is using their hazard lights and recognize the conditions are poor or dangerous, you may want to put your hazard lights on as well.

What do you have to do if you notice hazard lights?

If you see hazard lights, your first priority should be to give the vehicle in front of you more space. That means that you should slow down and back away from the driver.

It’s not a great idea to move over into another lane and try to go around the driver until you understand what the hazard is. For example, if there was a cloudburst and a downpour just started, you should turn on your hazard lights and slow down as well. The driver ahead of you may try to pull off the road, which is something you could also consider if it is unsafe to continue.

On the other hand, if the other driver lost a tire and moves over to the side of the road or there doesn’t appear to be a hazard, you may want to move into another lane and attempt to go around them. Still, keep your speed lower and stay alert in case there is a problem.

If someone has hazard lights on and is holding up traffic for no obvious reason, you may want to call the police to let them know. They can pull over the driver to be sure everyone in the vehicle is okay and get the flow of traffic moving again.