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Old 1st May 2011, 17:09   #1
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Default Heavy rain, blinkers on; How do you signal a lane change?

I have wondered about this every time I drive in heavy rain or low visibility scenarios.

The first thing that comes on once rains get heavy is the blinker (after the wiper of course). And in due course of time, if the visibility goes down due to the heavy rains or even in case of fog, as is the case up north, almost all the vehicles turn on the blinker - hazard signal.

Now, when you the blinkers on, how could/should one signal lane change. I faced a peculiar situation today - was driving down when it was raining terribly hard - hails and all that. Promptly put on the hazard warning - all the vehicles around me did. As I approached a junction, I saw a Sumo guy half way-thru the diagonal lane, wanting to cross. I was anyway doing ~20km/hr but honked and flashed nevertheless for right of way. The clown crosses anyway! And from his gesture while he was crossing, he tried something like the blinker is on and hence he crossed!

So, what is the best way you could go about lane changes, turns when you're in low visibility situations and have the hazard warning on?
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Old 1st May 2011, 17:29   #2
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

Blinkers on is a wrong signal in rains. Only thing it ensures is confusion of others. Tell me why do you want blinkers?? Lights on and go slow should be the criterion in low visibility conditions. I remember one of the RTO web-sites also advices people not to put blinkers on during rains (it is Maharashtra RTO if i remember correctly)

I get irritated when i see blinkers - already my visibility is reduced due to rain, and then these orange lights go blink-blink on my windscreen, reducing my view further.

I dont know who thought up such an idea in the first place. PLEASE DONT PUT ON BLINKERS ON DURING RAINS!!!
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Old 1st May 2011, 17:32   #3
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

This practice seems to have started about 3-4 years back.
Am still not clear about the technicalities.
Isn't the hazard signal to be used only when the car is stationary and/or in emergencies.
Though it increases the visibility of the car to the traffic is it right to do so? Parking lights are sufficient nough for that function.
Am seeing this practise now in Riyadh also when rain or sandstorm comes the blinkers come on.(maybe cause 40% of the drivers are south asians)

Last edited by DicKy : 1st May 2011 at 17:34.
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Old 1st May 2011, 17:36   #4
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

Anyway @libran in case if it was really raining so hard and some guy comes in front of me. The only thing I would do is slow down than to change the lane and run the risk of being hit by someone.
But anyway like I mentioned if you are having a fog lamp remember thats the best option. Not the hazard light. Remember in heavy rain dont overtake or change lane as far of possible unless you want to turn left or right. In that case only option that I do is slowly come left instead of switching all of a sudden.,

@mallumowgli You must note that not all cars are fitted with Fog lamps and the only way to ensure you dont get hit is by putting the Hazard lights on. Remember its called Hazard light for no reason.
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Old 1st May 2011, 17:56   #5
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

driving with the hazard lights on is really damn stupid if there is nothing wrong with your car.
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Old 1st May 2011, 18:10   #6
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
This practice seems to have started about 3-4 years back.
Am still not clear about the technicalities.
Isn't the hazard signal to be used only when the car is stationary and/or in emergencies.
Though it increases the visibility of the car to the traffic is it right to do so? Parking lights are sufficient nough for that function.
Am seeing this practise now in Riyadh also when rain or sandstorm comes the blinkers come on.(maybe cause 40% of the drivers are south asians)
Switch on the parking lamps or fog lamps(if you have one) and use the turn indicators as usual.
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Old 1st May 2011, 18:18   #7
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

Along with all the above mentioned ones, you can also turn on the rear fog lamp(also called puddle light) to increase the visibility of your car in these conditions. Most modern cars have these.
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Old 1st May 2011, 18:28   #8
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

I do not know about rains, but the blinkers are particularly useful in the foggy winters up in the north. More so, if they are put up on a heavy vehicle like a truck etc who most often have tail lamps which emit a very feeble light. I have experienced this first hand last year while driving on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway where I could not see the tail lamps of most trucks, but on the other hand, the blinkers were very much visible from a far greater distance.
I do agree that they do cause confusions when changing lanes and at crossings etc. but then we have to be extra careful during these extra hazardous situations and always let the other vehicle pass first.
Just my two cents.
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Old 1st May 2011, 18:28   #9
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

Hazard warning switch, which activates both the blinkers are supposed to be put on only on a stationary vehicle to indicate the position. Why would somebody put it on while driving? IS shouldn't be on at all. If too heavy rain or smog, park your car aside and wait unless you have a infrared radar imaging stuff to see through
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Old 1st May 2011, 18:43   #10
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Blinkers on is a wrong signal in rains. Only thing it ensures is confusion of others. Tell me why do you want blinkers?? Lights on and go slow should be the criterion in low visibility conditions. I remember one of the RTO web-sites also advices people not to put blinkers on during rains (it is Maharashtra RTO if i remember correctly)

I get irritated when i see blinkers - already my visibility is reduced due to rain, and then these orange lights go blink-blink on my windscreen, reducing my view further.

I dont know who thought up such an idea in the first place. PLEASE DONT PUT ON BLINKERS ON DURING RAINS!!!
I'm terribly reluctant to switch on hazard lights but when in blinding rain, it becomes imperative that they be switched on.

Everyone is mentioning fog lamps but the point is to make the vehicles BEHIND you aware of your presence. The reason hazard lamps are that colour is because they are much more visible than headlamps/parking lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
This practice seems to have started about 3-4 years back.
Am still not clear about the technicalities.
Isn't the hazard signal to be used only when the car is stationary and/or in emergencies.
Though it increases the visibility of the car to the traffic is it right to do so? Parking lights are sufficient nough for that function.
Am seeing this practise now in Riyadh also when rain or sandstorm comes the blinkers come on.(maybe cause 40% of the drivers are south asians)
This practice is one of the most common up north . The kind of fog that engulfs, invariably every vehicle has hazard lights on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
Anyway @libran in case if it was really raining so hard and some guy comes in front of me. The only thing I would do is slow down than to change the lane and run the risk of being hit by someone.
But anyway like I mentioned if you are having a fog lamp remember thats the best option. Not the hazard light. Remember in heavy rain dont overtake or change lane as far of possible unless you want to turn left or right. In that case only option that I do is slowly come left instead of switching all of a sudden.,

@mallumowgli You must note that not all cars are fitted with Fog lamps and the only way to ensure you dont get hit is by putting the Hazard lights on. Remember its called Hazard light for no reason.
Now, lane change doesn't necessarily mean to overtake right. Could mean something as simple as to take a turn to enter lanes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonGekko View Post
driving with the hazard lights on is really damn stupid if there is nothing wrong with your car.
So, being in Gurgaon, you NEVER have hazard lights on in the winter?
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Old 1st May 2011, 18:58   #11
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

I feel its more of a sane driving sense that will help in such a situation. As you said,

Quote:
I'm terribly reluctant to switch on hazard lights but when in blinding rain, it becomes imperative that they be switched on.

Everyone is mentioning fog lamps but the point is to make the vehicles BEHIND you aware of your presence. The reason hazard lamps are that colour is because they are much more visible than headlamps/parking lights.
I surely agree to this. It isn't only in India or Riyadh as someone mentioned, even here in Europe during heavy snow, people tend to switch on the hazard lights. I feel with a near zero visibility, its the only option. Talking of lane changes, may be a slow left or a right and gradually inching would do the trick. Anyways the guy behind won't be rushing anyways due to that sort of visibility. If anybody has traveled in North Indian plains (UP and all), they will know what is it like to drive in fog. The only thing that might be visible will be the blinkers. And for the fog lights to be visible, you got to first have them in all cars.
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Old 1st May 2011, 19:11   #12
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Everyone is mentioning fog lamps but the point is to make the vehicles BEHIND you aware of your presence. The reason hazard lamps are that colour is because they are much more visible than headlamps/parking lights.
The cars , atleast Swift, now come with rear fog lamp/s as standard. This can be switched on. I do this whenever I drive in rain in Bangalore.
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Old 1st May 2011, 19:45   #13
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

There is no need to switch hazard lights unless your car is not behaving normally like overheat engine, flat tyre. . I usually follow normal driving pattern in extreme driving conditions like fog/rains etc.
Just one piece of advice for such conditions - make sure you keep more distance between the vehicles than usual and be more alert. Also keep the music system off in heavy rain conditions.

Last edited by bluevolt : 1st May 2011 at 19:48.
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Old 1st May 2011, 20:59   #14
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

This is where Fog lamps come into play. Low placed front and rear foglamps make your car visible to others in bad weather. I find the low placed rear foglamps in Swift and Punto to be very effective.

Posting pic from my Punto thread. Clicked on a freezing winter night.
Heavy rain, blinkers on; How do you signal a lane change?-fog.jpg

I never use Hazard lights in Rain or Fog.
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Old 1st May 2011, 21:49   #15
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Default Re: Heavy rain, blinkers on; how do you signal lane change?

In heavy rains or fog, one should turn on the headlights and the rear/front fog lamps to announce your presence to others. And this really work. And you have the indicators working for you when you need them.

Use of hazard lamps for such situations is really setting an extremely wrong precedent. Imagine that your car breaks down during the heavy rain/fog situation while you are in the middle of the road (not on the shoulder). What would you do then?

Hazard lights should be used only when your vehicle is a hazard to other vehicles - to be used for a broken down vehicle or for a slow moving vehicle (when compared to the average speed of other vehicles) or when a vehicle is being towed etc.
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