Car Hazard Lights and their Misuse in Pakistan

A lot of drivers in Pakistan misuse their car’s Hazard lights. I have seen cars wrongly parked in shopping areas with hazard lights on. We see many drivers on Pakistani roads, turning ON their car’s hazard lights and switching lanes without maintaining lane discipline. This disrupts the traffic and often leads to accidents.

Hazard lights are also called “flashers”. They are blinking lights (Indicator lights) that are turned on to indicate an emergency situation. All cars have a hazard light button on the dashboard, which has a red triangle imprinted on it.

Hazard Button

When should hazard lights be used?

Hazard lights are supposed to be used to indicate an emergency or a hazard situation. The most common use of hazard lights is to warn motorist about possible hazard that may be approaching. Hazard lights are used when there is an accident on the road ahead, or to indicate if there is a vehicle breakdown ahead. Hazard lights can also be used in situations where there is a lane diversion due to construction or any other reason.

Hazard lights are often used in bad weather conditions. Motorists, especially on the highways, are recommended to turn on the hazard lights when it is raining heavily or if there’s heavy fog and poor visibility (especially if they park on the side due to heavy rain). Turning the hazard lights on, signals the motorist to be aware of the car being parked on roadside.

Hazard Light misuse

People use hazard lights to indicate slow traffic ahead. This is a good practice as it warns motorist coming up from behind to slow down. If your car is faulty, you should turn on the car’s hazard lights and move to the slower lane of the road, in order to not disrupt the traffic. Hazard lights are also used in funeral processions. This signals motorists that they need to slow down for the procession.

Common situations where hazard lights are misused in Pakistan include:

  • Parking wrongly and leaving hazard lights on
  • Dropping someone off on a busy road or waiting to pick someone up
  • Driving roughly with hazard lights on (breaking traffic rules in the process).
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road in order to take a U-turn

The above mentioned situations are just a few, the list goes on. It is important for people to know the purpose of a hazard light. Drivers need to know that the misuse of these lights can lead to accidents, and frustrate other drivers on the road.

  • I turn them on when I have a patient aboard approaching hospital in emergency ! is it OK?

  • Guest

    Drivers know very well when they are misusing something and causing frustration to others.

    The problem is not related to the amount of knowledge. The problem is related to etiquette.

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    Not to forget people using hazard lights while entering tunnels (Coz it is dark, you know!) or at a road junction to indicate that they are going straight. (Simple logic – going left->left indicator; Going right->Right Indicator, Going straight -> Both Indicators)

  • Saqib Khan

    No its not. Under any circumstances , you cannot drive on with hazards lights on, except what is said above. You must use the Ambulance for the patient.

  • No my friend, I couldn’t wait for an ambulance when my father was having a heart-attack ! emergency is emergency !

  • Muhammad Rizwan Malik

    “Dropping someone off on a busy road or waiting to pick someone up”

    That is a legitimate reason to turn on hazard lights to let the traffic know that this car is on halt.