VERIFY: Should You Use Headlights & Flashing Hazards Lights In Rain?

Verify: Hazard Lights Pt. 2

Driving in rain can be a slippery slope -- especially when navigating the rules of the road. On the heels of a rainy June, the WFMY News 2 Verify team tackles two common questions rainy-day drivers often dispute.

VERIFY QUESTION #1

  • Is it legal to use your windshield wipers without your headlights?

VERIFY SOURCES

VERIFY PROCESS

  • To verify this fact, we didn't have to look very far. It's North Carolina law. The law states, "Motorists are required to use their headlights from sunset to sunrise and when light conditions restrict visibility to 400 feet or less... motorists are also required to use headlights while operating windshield wipers during inclement weather."
  • The law doesn't carry any specific fine for violators, but you could get pulled over. 

VERIFY CONCLUSION

  • No, it's not legal to use your windshield wipers without turning on your headlights. Wipers on = headlights on.

VERIFY QUESTION 2

 

  • It is legal and safe to use hazard lights during rain?

VERIFY SOURCES

 

  • North Carolina Law
  • AAA
  • NC Dept. of Transportation
  • NC Highway Patrol - Master Trooper Chris Knox

VERIFY PROCESS

  • AAA says in about half of US states, it's illegal to drive anywhere with your hazard lights on. North Carolina is not one of those states.
  • NC drivers are permitted to use their hazard lights when driving. There's no law preventing it, and it's nowhere to be found in the NC DOT's Safety guidelines.
  • That doesn't mean driving with your hazard lights is safe. Master Trooper Chris Knox said, "I think people are better off adhering to the other practices of just having lights/wipers on, reducing speed, staying to the right and increasing following distance."

VERIFY CONCLUSION

  • Yes, it is legal to use your flashing hazard lights while driving on NC roads, but it's not the safest practice.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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