When should you use your hazard lights? When should you use your hazard lights?

  • A. You've had to stop quickly because you've come upon slow moving traffic and there's a chance another vehicle might not see you and run into the back of you

  • B. You're reversing from a driveway and your view isn't clear

  • C. Your vehicle is a temporary hazard, e.g. you've broken down or have a flat tyre

  • D. You've parked on a broken yellow line to pick something up

    The correct answer is C
    You should only use your hazard lights when your vehicle becomes a temporary hazard for other road users. You can tap the brake pedal to warn other drivers if you are in a queue of slow moving traffic or have had to stop suddenly.

What are hazard warning lights?

Hazard warning lights are a pair of intermittent flashing indicator lights that flash in unison to warn other drivers that the vehicle is a temporary obstruction. They are also called hazard flashers and hazard lights. Different countries use hazard warning lights in different ways. In New Zealand we wouldn't use them on a motorway to warn other drivers that we're slowing down, but in the UK this is recommended.

They are usually activated by pressing a button on the dashboard that looks like a red triangle, as shown. Some vehicles (usually European ones) will automatically activate the hazard warning lights under heavy braking or if the vehicle is involved in an accident.

Hazard warning light button

When should you use hazard warning lights?

They are to warn other road users that you ar a temporary hazard. For example, if you have broken down on the side of the road, or you are changing a tyre. If you are being towed, you should use your hazard warning lights.

If you are being towed and you are using your hazard lights, you will need to use hand signals to indicate direction because the hazard lights override the indicators.

When shouldn't you use hazard warning lights?

They shouldn't be used if you are driving in traffic. You should not use them to warn other drivers if you parked illegally (you shouldn't be parking illegally). If your hazard warning lights are left on while you are driving, any signalling with your indicators will not be able to be seen.

Select language

Suggested for you

    All languages