NewsFlorida News


Hazard lights while driving in the rain: Why it's illegal in Florida

Posted at 8:12 AM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-25 09:35:04-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida summers can bring heavy downpours and driving through them can be stressful. Remember these tips next time you get stuck in a storm to ensure you arrive alive!

It's illegal to drive with your hazard lights on in Florida. Hazard lights indicate that a vehicle is stopped or disabled.

INTERACTIVE RADAR | Track storms moving through Tampa Bay area with our interactive radar

The indicators can reduce visibility and confuse other drivers, and first responders, into thinking you're stopped or stalled in the road.

"First responders look for flashers to see if someone needs help," an FHP spokesperson said.

The only time you can legally drive while your hazard lights are on is during a funeral procession.

DRIVING TAMPA BAY FORWARD | Latest headlines on safety and infrastructure in our area

As Floridians, we're used to driving during downpours, but it's still dangerous and shouldn't be treated lightly.

If you are driving in heavy rain, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says to use your low beams, drive slowly and keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles.

If you drive through water at a relatively fast speed, you can hydroplane. This can cause you to lose control of your brakes and steering.

If you are caught hydroplaning: Keep your steering wheel and tires straight, let off the gas and let your car regain traction.

Do not slam on your brakes!

Still feel unsafe? Slow down and pull off of the road as far as possible. Be sure to use your turn signals and, once stopped, turn your hazard lights on to let other drivers know you're stationary.