Driving with your hazard lights in Florida is illegal

With off-and-on rain forecasted for the next several days, it is a good time to remind motorists in Florida that it is illegal to drive with hazard lights on, even during a downpour.

According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, if you have yours on as you are driving, you are driving illegally. Hazard lights are meant for when your car has broken down or stopped on the side of the road. It is also a sign for first responders, such as if you need first aid, but you must still do your best to pull as far off the road as possible and come to a complete stop. 

The only time it can be used while driving your vehicle is if you are in a funeral procession. It would then be a signal to other drivers not to drive in between or interfere with the procession. 

Otherwise, officials say operating a vehicle with hazard lights can become a hazard to other drivers who may believe you are stopped or stalled on the road. It may make it difficult for other driver’s to recognize whether the motorist is tapping on their brakes or using a turn signal.

Officials say you should do the following in low visibility conditions, such as in fog, smoke or rain:

- Turn on headlights. A good rule of thumb is if you have to turn on your windshield wipers, then you should turn on your headlights.
- Drive with low beams. High beams will reflect back off the fog and impair visibility even more.
- Slow down when it's raining
- Use wipers and defrosters for maximum visibility. 
- Use the right edge of the road or edge lines and center lines as visual guides
- Eliminate all distractions in the vehicle, such as turning off the radio and cell phones
- Look out for slow-moving and parked vehicles
- Keep windshield and headlights clean to reduce glare and increase visibility