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Old 8th January 2010, 12:40   #1
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Default Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

Was down in Kerala for New Year's Eve and had tied it up with a wedding on the 30th in Thrissur.

I was being driven around by one of the relatives who knew the roads better then I did.

We were in a convoy of 4-5 cars with our car being the second one.

We approached a round about and I suddenly see the car infront switch on its Hazard Lights (all indicators blinking). I think oh maybe its a mistake and don't bother. I see my driver fiddle around the steering but dont bother.

Now we approach another roundabout and the hazards glow again. I turn to our driver and he has pulled the Hazard Switch too. Duh??

I ask him: Why are you guys switching on the Hazard light?

He: Its to indicate that we are going down the straight road after the roundabout.

Me: DUH?? WHAT??

He: Yes, its the way to indicate that.

Me: Oh ok. Is this new.

He: No idea but in Kerala its an accepted norm.

Me: Doesn't happen in Bangalore, so its a regional thing then.

So with that belief, I was good.

Last night land in Bangalore, take my vehicle from Diamond District at around 2330 hours and head home towards Marathahalli.

Approach Manipal junction - traffic signals are off, trailing a CEL Cabs Indigo. He switches on his Hazard Lights.

WHOA!!! What THE??

He drives straight through.

So I drive behind him to see whether he repeats the same and Bingo again at the Pizza Hut Signal.

Interesting.

So now, is this something new and have I been doing something wrong by not indicating that I am going straight through? (an oxymoron statement actually).
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Old 8th January 2010, 12:46   #2
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The CEL cab driver is also from Thrissur.

(Has been discussed earlier in a similar thread about strange local traffic signals)
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Old 8th January 2010, 12:48   #3
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Seems it's very common in Chennai too.
Hazard Lights usually used while need to go straight in 'T' junctions.
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Old 8th January 2010, 12:49   #4
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I have seen this interesting use of Hazards umpteen number of times and mostly done by the cab drivers. I guess, they try to make use of every feature in the vehicle.

Cheers.
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Old 8th January 2010, 12:49   #5
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Brilliant! they wont turn the indicator on when making a turn but will turn both ON when going straight!!
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Old 8th January 2010, 13:00   #6
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I am not surprised at all. Even more innovative are the Rickshaw drivers of Mumbai. Few days back I saw a little elbow stick out, instead of the usual hand, to indicate that the guy was going right. These guys never fail to amaze me...
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Old 8th January 2010, 13:15   #7
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I also have come across such use of Hazard Indicators on the highways and in the cities as well.

It definitely depends on the driver following you to understand what the actual intention your is depending on your speed as well as the distance at which he is following/taigating you. Some situations can be:

- While you are approaching a T Junction

- If there is a break in the median where most of the drivers are taking a right (And only you want to continue driving straight)

- Or even a brokedown Sand Lorry in the fast lane (Bangalore's outer Ring roads/ Mysore road) where you cannot suddenly switch lanes but have to slowdown while someone is following/tailgating you.

For the speeds at which the cars are driven these days, rolling down and giving hand signals to indicating that you are slowing down cannot happen in 2-3 seconds.

If these Indicators mean "HAZARD", it is always good on the driver's part to simply slowdown noting such indication and be safe.

I only wished that these indicators are used only when absolutely necessary else the whole purpose gets defeated.

If lane "Discipline" is stringently followed on our roads, many such "Indications" would never be used!
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Old 8th January 2010, 13:30   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
The CEL cab driver is also from Thrissur.

(Has been discussed earlier in a similar thread about strange local traffic signals)
LOL thats a possibility. But Mallus head towards the Gelf.

Oh if there is a thread on here somewhere maybe this can be moved there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aks_karthik View Post
Seems it's very common in Chennai too.
Hazard Lights usually used while need to go straight in 'T' junctions.
And what do the ones who turn at a T Junction do? LOL.

Its a no brainer actually, if you are turning switch on the right/left indicator. If not drive straight and dont bother about indicating that you are going straight LOL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardy View Post
II guess, they try to make use of every feature in the vehicle.
I think this is something developed by some smart(rear) amongst them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Brilliant! they wont turn the indicator on when making a turn but will turn both ON when going straight!!
The Cab I was trailing actually signalled a left after the two junctions but I wanted to see if he actually turns left or now that is supposed to mean something else..

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
It definitely depends on the driver following you to understand what the actual intention your is depending on your speed as well as the distance at which he is following/taigating you.
Hazard Warning Lights are meant to be denote just that an Hazard. If you have stopped on a busy road due to mechanical failure then we use Hazard Lights. It is meant to show that your vehicle can be an hazard to others using the road.

What next loud speakers on the roof for the driver to yell out to the rest of the road users what he intends to do next?

I think this practise has come about by our basic disregard for rules.

I am sure sometime in the future somebody will run into a moron who wanted to go straight and the others just saw one side of his car and thought he is turning and went straight into his path.

Remember if I am not directly infront or behind there is no way for me to see all the indicators being on.

What if I am joining from the right and I see the right indicators glowing I assume the the vehicle is turning right and I join the road when he actually is going straight. Nothing like this would have happened if one just doesnt signal while going straight.

Sometimes to make sense of the obvious is a huge task.
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Old 8th January 2010, 13:36   #9
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good to know this - this might be pretty useful in a city like chandigarh where there are a lot of rotaries.
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Old 8th January 2010, 13:53   #10
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What's the point? IMO an attention-seeking signal is ALWAYS better than driving in without giving any signal at all.

People are generally mistaken about the hazard warning signal. Agreed. But people are also unaware about the fact that ALL signals in a car are always used to warn possible hazards. The break light has the highest priority, followed by the hazard and a single reverse light..

Last edited by sandeepmdas : 8th January 2010 at 14:07.
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Old 8th January 2010, 14:00   #11
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There is a separate thread on this, IIRC.

And IMHO, this is better than turning right / left without any signal at all. At least, you know that he is going straight.
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Old 8th January 2010, 14:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonirohit View Post
good to know this - this might be pretty useful in a city like chandigarh where there are a lot of rotaries.
OH NO. We are not promoting this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
What's the point? IMO an attention-seeking signal is ALWAYS better than driving in without giving any signal at all.
Point is its not a rule and not a legal way of using Hazard Lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
And IMHO, this is better than turning right / left without any signal at all. At least, you know that he is going straight.
I think there is a authority to come up with accepted signalling for road users.

Also have you guys heard of LANES? They are there for avoiding such nonsense.
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Old 8th January 2010, 14:08   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
There is a separate thread on this, IIRC.

And IMHO, this is better than turning right / left without any signal at all. At least, you know that he is going straight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
What's the point? IMO an attention-seeking signal is ALWAYS better than driving in without giving any signal at all.

People are generally mistaken about the hazard warning signal. Agreed. But people are also unaware about the fact that ALL signals in a car are always used to warn possible hazards. The break light has the highest priority, followed by the hazard and the reverse light which is now a single unit.
Due to "Physics" such "attention-seeking signal" cannot be correctly read from the side of the Vehicle. spitfire has already pointed out a case in his response (a couple of posts before yours) where these could lead to accidents.

Last edited by alto99 : 8th January 2010 at 14:09.
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Old 8th January 2010, 14:09   #14
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Yes many people does that, they even think that it is the sole purpose of hazard warning lights.

I don't think it is only seen in Kerala, as I have seen it in Blr as well. But again, those drivers could be Mallus - who knows!
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Old 8th January 2010, 14:10   #15
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I observed this in North Karnataka when I visited Gulburga/Bijapur this December, I had another driver sitting in my passenger seat and suddenly he switches on my hazards when we came to a junction.. freaked me out too!
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