A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

blinker nerds: hazard light driving

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on September 2, 2007

The rainy Iowa weather last week made me think of one of the many Lebanese driving practices: driving with one’s hazard lights on.

In the United States, hazard lights are used to signal to other drivers that one’s car is stopped – either because the car has broken down or because the car is stopped in a non-standard place – in the right-hand lane of an urban street, for example.

The charmingly named “Wise Geek” has this to say about hazard lights:

Most commonly, hazard lights are used on a disabled car which has been pulled to the side of the road. Especially at night, they increase the visibility of the car so that it will not be hit. It also alerts drivers to the fact that there is a problem of some kind, and some drivers use hazard lights to ask for help, usually in combination with leaving the hood up. Responders to an accident scene may also use their hazard lights to warn drivers about unusual conditions up ahead, and to help clear a lane for the accident. Read more …

In Lebanon, drivers use hazard lights as a driving aid whenever the weather is bad. Used in conjunction with headlights, they make cars more visible in the fog that often covers the mountain roads, or the heavy rains of early spring.

I understand the reasons why US driving practices treat hazard lights as exceptional – when someone has his or her hazard lights on, it sends a clear signal of distress (or at least “watch out – I’m stopped!”) to other drivers. But last week I missed the extra visibility those lights would have provided. I’m not exactly a good driver even in the best weather. When the weather turns bad, I need all the help I can get!


One Response to “blinker nerds: hazard light driving”

  1. intlxpatr said

    I remember that you are an excellent driver, a courageous driver and a careful driver!

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