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How to Use Hazard Lights on Auto

by Ryan Maxwell

Hazard lights are used to warn drivers of a potential problem with your vehicle while it is in motion, alert other vehicles that you are on the side of the road, alert others of an emergency such as a need to get to a hospital, or as a signal to other drivers of slowed speed due to an accident ahead.

Consult your vehicle manual to find the hazard light button. The hazard light switch is on the side of the steering column and commonly identified by a triangle on the button.

Depending on the vehicle, pull the button up or push it down.

Observe the display on the console behind the steering wheel. If the hazard lights are working, both arrows of the turn signals blink simultaneously.

Remember to turn hazard lights off once they are no longer needed because they may drain the battery.


  • Hazard lights can be used to test your turning signal bulbs. If you turn the hazard lights on when you are in your driveway, you can walk around the car and make sure all lights are functioning. The triangle icon is the standard identification for hazard lights in foreign and domestic vehicles. If you are unsure where your hazard light is, consult your vehicle manual to find the location of the hazard light switch as well as any vehicle-specific information for handling emergency situations.


  • Never drive using only hazard lights. This is dangerous and can result in an accident. Do not use hazard lights when driving in poor conditions because this may distract other drivers. If warning oncoming traffic about a hazard ahead, flash headlights briefly instead of using hazard lights.

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About the Author

Ryan Maxwell began his professional freelance writing career in 2009. He is a former U.S. Army military police officer, as well as a published poet and photographer. While attending Finlandia University, Maxwell majored in criminal justice with a minor in English studies. Ryan is also very skilled in computer maintenance, upgrade and repair with almost 20 years of experience.

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