Hazard indicator and their abuse
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This is the first contribution to our new segment on road safety.

 

We believe, as responsible petrolheads, in the need to exercise caution and pay attention to safety on the road. By all means, enjoy your drive. But, responsibly. Trends catch on and spread like wild fire! Sadly, the speed at which a particular “trend” gets popular happens to be proportional to how inappropriate the practice it promotes.

 

One such scary trend that am sure we all have noticed over the last year or so is the use of the hazard warning light while driving through conditions of low visibility.

By conditions of low visibility, I mean, heavy rain, fog, or the worst of them, while passing through a tunnel.

 

The correct way of using hazard: Let’s just take a step back and elaborate on the prescribed use of the hazard light or hazard warning. The hazard light or hazard warning light is the double blinker. When switched on, both the turning indicators flash simultaneously. True to the symbol on the hazard indicator switch, which is a red triangle, a hazard is supposed to convey to the other approaching drivers on the road, that your vehicle is stationary. It could be due to a break down, a flat tire or simply, the vehicle is at rest where it should not be due to unavoidable circumstances.

A hazard warning light tells an approaching vehicle that your vehicle is at rest so that the other drivers can make necessary adjustments in order to overtake the vehicle and make the whole exercise predictable and under control.

 

The abuse: Now, having touched upon the ideal or prescribed way of using the hazard warning light, let us look at the trend we started of talking about.

If a moving car starts to employ the hazard, how will a driver of a stationary car communicate to the approaching driver that his car is at rest??? An approaching driver runs the risk of ramming into a car at rest just because he has no way of differentiating a stationary car from the one at rest!

 

Imagine if all moving cars start using a hazard while going through a tunnel, what indicator would a driver employ if his car happens to break down in a tunnel? Same is true for car moving in heavy rain and in foggy conditions.

 

Please think about the impact of your actions on the road and do read up on prescribed, proper usage of indicators.

Drive safe.