Hazard lights are something that are mandatory on all cars and are also present on some bikes as well. But did you know that more than 90 % of people who use hazard lights have been using them wrong all this while?
It is important to understand where and when to use hazard lights. Hazard lights should only be used when the vehicle is stationary (parked on the side of the road), or is in a dangerous position after a crash or if the vehicle has broken down on the road and is stranded. These are the only reasons to use the hazard lights.
How are they actually used?
In India, the most common use of the hazard lights are quite funny. Most people use a hazard light while entering a tunnel, as visibility drops or put them on when it starts to rain or there is fog. While most people do this, it is wrong.
As mentioned above, the main reason why hazards are to be used are to indicate a stationary vehicle. Using them when the car is in motion to indicate low visibility means other drivers will get confused.
Also, if you are driving and you use hazards, the indicators will not work, which means drivers around you will not be able to tell when you are changing directions, which is a very bad idea.
Yes, some cars automatically cut the hazard lamps when you turn on the indicators (VW group for example), however that is not the case with all the vehicles which means utmost care must be taken.
What can go wrong if you have them ON while driving?
People around you will not be able to tell when you want to turn or change lanes. If you do have to make a turn, the person behind you or next to you will not know that you are indicating and that could cause confusion and even lead to a crash.
Also, since hazard lamps are meant to be used when stationary, some people may think your car is stationary as well, which could also cause confusion.