driver pushing hazard light button on car dashboardUsing hazard lights does not give a driver a free pass to drive any speed, park in no parking zones, or leave their car unattended where it shound't be. If a crash is caused by a car with its hazard lights on, the driver could be liable for injured victims' damages. We explain the laws regarding hazard light use in Virginia

When You Should Use Your Hazards

In Virginia, “hazard light use is not permitted while driving except for emergency vehicles, stopped or slowed vehicles to indicate a traffic hazard, when traveling as part of a funeral procession, or traveling slower than 30 mph.”

Unfortunately, many drivers still believe that they can drive however they want or park wherever they want as long as they flick on their flashers. Not only is this frustrating to other drivers and unlawful, but it’s also potentially dangerous. Flashers should never be used as a way to preemptively warn others of reckless driving. Therefore, unless a driver is experiencing one of the following lawful hazard situations, they should not be using their hazards:

  • Loading or unloading passengers in a designated zone
  • Stopped by a police officer
  • Experiencing vehicle problems that prevent safely moving a vehicle
  • Emergency situations that prevent safe exit from traffic (chest pains, dizziness, heart attack, labor, etc.)
  • Car breaks down in the middle of the road
  • Car accident (and unable to move car to the shoulder)
  • Participating in a funeral procession
  • Warning other cars to slow down for a potential obstruction (car accident, landslide, fallen tree, etc.)

When a Negligent Driver Causes Your Crash

Misuse of hazard lights can create dangerous situations on the road. If you were in an accident that you suspect was caused by another driver using their hazards, you might be able to hold that driver accountable for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Hiring an experienced car crash lawyer to gather evidence of the other driver's fault will significantly increase your odds of being successful. 

The car accident team at Dulaney, Lauer, & Thomas offers free initial consultations and takes personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you won't owe us a dime until we successfully resolve your case. Fill out our contact form or call us at 540-341-0007 to learn more about how we can help you. With offices in Front Royal, Warrenton, and Culpeper, we are where you need us to be.

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