As we are in the midst of yet another wet summer, the attorneys here at Edwards & Ragatz want to remind our fellow motorists that a behavior which many people think prevents car accidents, may in fact cause them. Are you guilty of turning on your car’s hazard warning lights during a heavy downpour? Not only does this behavior actually create a hazard, but most motorist do not realize, it is actually against the law.
Many motorist think that by turning on their hazard lights that they are helping other drivers better see their car. Unfortunately, the natural reaction of those other drivers is to assume that a vehicle using its hazard lights is actually stopped and needs help. Additionally, when hazard lights are on, they prevent turn signals and brake lights to work properly, making other motorists overreact and causing car accidents.
Related: Florida Driving Safety Tips
Florida state law forbids drivers “ with the exception of police, fire and other officials “ from using flashing lights unless their car is pulled over or disabled. Those who break the law could be subject to a ticket of about $115. See Florida Statute Section 316.2397
The Florida Highway Patrol’s advice is if it is raining too hard and you are having trouble seeing, that you should pull over on a median and wait for the rain to slack off. Florida weather changes unexpectedly and quickly. We remind all of our friends that vehicles do not react the same during wet conditions, so please make sure to drive safely and slow down. When it first begins to rain, water, oil and debris build-up on the surface of the road and can make for hazardous driving conditions. Hydroplaning can occur when a layer of water builds between the rubber tires of a vehicle and the road surface, leading to the loss of traction and prevents the vehicle from responding to controls such as steering, braking or accelerating.