We're sure you've all seen or done this - a driver using their hazard lights during bad weather.

Some people find it annoying to see those hazards on, others argue that it makes us safer.

But is it legal? We wanted to verify.

According to AAA Safety Advisor Lori Cook, hazard lights are actually ILLEGAL to use in Ohio, except if hazardous conditions exist.

So what's considered a hazardous condition? Ohio law covers weather in Section 453.17.E. It states this section does not prohibit the use of warning lights on vehicles being operated in unfavorable atmospheric conditions in order to enhance their visibility.

The definition of 'unfavorable' is left up to police.

"Most law enforcement officials are not going to pull you over if you're doing something to make yourself safer," says Cook. "Provided hazardous conditions do exist."

Cook also warns that flashing lights tend to draw drivers toward you, especially impaired drivers who see the blinking lights. But in really bad weather, you want to be seen no matter what.

"So if you have a day like we had this morning, where you have blowing snow, it's snowing pretty hard, there's spray being kicked up by other vehicles and you're generally trying to make yourself safer to be seen, it's acceptable then – but only then," Cook adds. "Because flashing lights should only be on an emergency vehicle."

So in that case, driving with hazards on in the snow is okay. And that's VERIFIED.

Just remember though, conditions need to be bad for you to use your hazards. Make sure you turn them off when you signal to change lanes, because that is required by law as well.


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