Courteous Driving: Hazards

April 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

You’re driving along in the center lane (where you should be if you’re cruising with traffic — we’ll talk in more detail at a later date) and there’s someone ahead of you with their hazard lights blinking away… in the center lane as well.

It’s summer here, in Florida, so it’s going to rain 8 of every 10 days or so for the next few months. And people around here love driving on I-4 going 20 miles under the speed limit… on a normal day. Add rain? Cue hazards. I’m going to be dealing with this on a [nearly] daily basis. It wouldn’t be such an issue if they’d at least move into the far right lane before doing so. A majority of cars these days don’t have amber lights either, they blink red — some are the whole tail light too. So, essentially, from the back, you look like an asshole who can’t seem to figure out how fast the person in front of you is going and you have to keep using your brakes. And, of course, everyone behind you freaks out because the road is wet… and they could slam into the back of you — cause being low traction.

Another thing that annoys me is people driving wherever they please with their hazards on. If you legitimately need to use them, drive in the far right lane — unless you need to turn left soon (and I mean soon). A few months ago, I was pushed off the road and hopped a curb pretty hard. It bent 3 of my rims and I needed to use the spare for the 4th because the tire went completely flat. On my way to the repair shop, I could only drive about 30 mph because of the rims and my spare is one of those crappy donuts. I had someone follow me (in case one of the other tires came off) and we both had our hazards on… and we stayed in the far right lane the whole way. I was trying to stick to 6-lane roads (3 each way) so as to give people more than a single lane to get around me, but there were a few roads that were 2-lane. Saw people behind me, so the first place I saw (that wouldn’t have pushed me into a curb or off the asphalt) I moved over and waved everyone by. There was also an area where we’d have to turn left, moving over 2 lanes. The person trailing me turned off their hazards, used their turn signal to move over a lane. Then let me over. Repeat until we were in the turn lane. Once we did the turn, her hazards would go back on. I can honestly say that was the only time I have ever used my hazard lights while driving.

Really, the only time you should use your hazards is when absolutely necessary — your car cannot get up to the speed limit for whatever reason, parts are falling off your car, something’s going on in the car that prevents you from being able to drive, etc. Whatever your reason, get into the far right lane — or off the road entirely if necessary.

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