Much of Texas has been experiencing days of rain. It's a blessing, to be sure, but downpours can result in hazardous driving conditions, including slick roads and low visibility. Some folks will drive with their hazards on during the rain, but is it legal? And is it the best practice for safety on rainy roads?

Photo by Jessica Knowlden on Unsplash
Photo by Jessica Knowlden on Unsplash

Some states do not allow driving with hazards on, that is, hazard lights are only legally permissible when the vehicle is stopped. However, in Texas, driving with your hazard lights on while the vehicle is moving is legal. You can use them in any unsafe situation including low visibility. But is it a good idea? 

This is, of course, up to your discretion as a driver, but let's take a look at some pros and cons. One Texas Redditor made an excellent point:

So many folks drive with hazards on in low visibility. But for too many cars, it means that when they want to change lanes, there’s no signal bc the hazards are using the turn lights.

Ends up looking like everyone’s bobbing and weaving in low-vis conditions.

However, to counter that, another Redditor made a good point:

When I moved to TX I learned to throw the hazards on during these pop up storms when there was no one driving behind me, so that approaching vehicles knew something was up and to slow down. [...]. It can be very difficult to gauge the speed of other vehicles in these low visibility conditions and hazards universally say “my vehicle isn’t functioning well.”

Personally, I think it depends very much on the individual circumstance. As someone with astigmatism, a ton of light "noise" isn't going to help me at all, so if there are multiple cars on the road, having hazards on seems not only unnecessary but dangerous. Having your lights on means there are taillights lit as well, so as long as I've slowed down to accommodate for the storm, there should be no need to have hazards on.

However, if you are alone or mostly on a highway and a squall appears out of nowhere (which happens all the time in Texas) it is probably a good idea to pop those hazards on so anyone behind you will visually understand from a distance that you are going below the speed limit.

Whatever you decide, remember to reduce speed when it's raining, and if the weather is severe, don't drive at all unless you absolutely must.

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