Sunday, January 5, 2014

When to use hazard lights

When to use hazard lights

It’s all in the name. Even then I remember very well what happened when we were passing through the tunnel of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The moment you enter the expressway tunnel, 9 out of 10 drivers switch on their hazard lights immediately until the tunnel ends. In my first instance, I was astounded to see so many vehicles having hazardous trouble all of a sudden. Later I comprehended it to be an irony of another show-piece of innovative Indian driving rules. So I will restrict the usage of this post to "when not to use hazard lights" instead "when to use".

People, and with that I mean not the uneducated drivers, I mean literate and supposedly educated people, for godforsaken reason start assuming that driving through a well lit and well maintained tunnel on the Mumbai-Pune expressway demands switching on their hazard lights. Perhaps they never really get an opportunity to use it very often during their driving tenure. Perhaps the hazard light button is so beautifully and conveniently placed in the centre console of the dashboard that one is enthused to use it as and when they get an opportunity. Or perhaps they just find it increasingly amusing that both the indicators can glow at the same time.

Whatever be the reason, the use of hazard lights inside the tunnel is a mockery of driving rules; is a derision of the actual use of hazard light and shouldn’t be practiced by the educated drivers. The tunnels are so well lit and maintained, why on earth people consider it as a hazardous condition? This fact is beyond my comprehension of driving intelligence.

Another instance I have noticed where people tend to use hazard lights. I have noticed it is usually on the cross junctions, where people switch on their hazard lights to indicate that they are going straight and are not going to turn either left or right. Goodness gracious me! Why on earth would you have to indicate your indicators if you are not turning. And believe me people are really smarter than you, to understand that you are going straight if there aren’t any indicators. There is absolutely no reason to switch on the hazard lights. Once again, defying the actual purpose of hazard lights.

Imagine what if someday somebody actually has a hazardous situation of a brake fail or something like that and he switches on the hazard light, we all will start thinking it is either a tunnel or probably the person only intends to go straight.

Having said that, in India we don’t have much specified and designated traffic rules as the western world. Even if we have, most of the people don’t follow them. And some of those who follow, the infrastructure and ever rising population compels them to break it every now and then. But I still hope that people understand a simple concept of life that – “Little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.