Know When and Where to Flash Your Emergency Lights

Your car has an array of indicator lights that alert you and other drivers as to what is going on with your car. There are interior indicators letting you know that you should check the oil or the brakes. For other drivers, your signal indicators say if you are going to turn left or right. When you brake, your brake lights come on and when you put the car in reverse, your back-up lights come on. In addition, your car has emergency flasher lights that alert other drivers that there is a problem. Therefore, if you are experiencing an emergency you should turn on your emergency flasher lights, so that the other cars around you know to slow down and to go around.

DO: Take the time to learn where all of your vehicle’s lights are, and how they work

When you first get your car, take the time to go through the User Manual and find out where all of your dash board indicator lights are and what they mean. Also, find out how to turn on your head beams, turn signal and hazard lights before you ever leave the driveway. The last thing you want is to need to use your lighting system and not know how to do so.

DO: Check your lights to make sure they work

Periodically check your headlights and taillights to make sure they work properly. Have a friend stand in front of the car and watch while you turn on your headlights, high beams, and left and right turn signal. Then have them stand behind the car and watch as you turn on your headlights, hit the brakes. They can also observe the left and right turn signal from the back and the hazard lights. Have them step safely out of the way and put the vehicle in reverse, so that they can see if the back-up lights are working.

DO: Learn to change the light bulbs

Consult your User Manual and find the location of the light bulb that you need to change and then remove it. Take the bulb with you to the auto parts store and match the part number. Then replace the bulb and check the lights again to make sure they work. If changing the bulb did not restore the function of the light you may have an electrical problem that needs to be checked by a certified mechanic.

DON’T: Ignore indicator lights

Never ignore an indicator light. Every indicator light is a warning that some system in the car has either failed or is about to fail soon. Many things like the check battery light or check oil light can be easily fixed and for little cost. If the check engine or break light comes on take your car to a certified mechanic as soon as possible.

DON’T: Drive with a busted tail light

Driving with a busted tail light is the quickest way to get pulled over by the police. It is also an accident waiting to happen. Most people drive following too close or are otherwise distracted by their cell phone to notice that you are slowing down. The best way to avoid being hit from the rear is to break slowly giving yourself plenty of time to stop and to always use your turn signals.

DON’T: Expect other people to know how to properly use their lights

Many people either never took driver’s education in school or have forgotten what they learned. Defensive driving is the key to being safe on the road no matter what other drivers are doing. So don’t follow to closely because you never know when the car in front of you may suddenly stop. Also, wait and make sure that the car with the left turn signal blinking is really going to turn before you enter the intersection.

Emergency flasher lights keep everyone safe on the road only if everyone on the road knows how to use them. You can make sure that you and your passengers are safe by knowing how to operate every light on your car. You should also be able to change the bulb when it blows. Take care of indicator lights as soon as possible and make sure that code is cleared once the problem is fixed. Lastly, never assume that everyone on the road understand how to use their lights and give yourself plenty of room for defensive maneuvers.