Is It Legal To Drive Your Motorcycle in Florida With the Hazard Lights On?

Florida Traffic Laws | Law Tigers Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Is it legal to drive in Florida with hazard lights on? There are two situations where it is legal to drive your motorcycle in Florida with the hazard lights on, but that was not the case until recently.

The first exception permits using emergency lights if you are part of a funeral procession. The second exception, passed in July of 2021, authorizes using hazard lights while driving on the road with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour or faster and when visibility is extremely low.   

For the longest time, the only exception to the prohibition on driving with your emergency lights on was for funeral processions. Florida was one of ten states that prohibited the practice, and they enforced it. In the three years before the change in traffic laws, Florida police issued nearly 500 citations for driving with hazard lights on. 

Florida Traffic Laws Before the Changes in 2021

Anyone that has spent time in Florida understands that the rains can arrive without warning and reduce visibility dramatically. Driving in bad weather conditions is inherently dangerous. In response, many people would turn their hazard lights on and reduce their speed to match the driving conditions. However, doing so was illegal. 

The Florida Department of Transportation long-maintained that hazard lights do not improve visibility. Moreover, the department contended that driving with emergency lights flashing made road conditions more dangerous, as other drivers would assume you stopped moving your vehicle. Additionally, some emergency lights make it impossible to detect a turn signal which again increases the danger of their use. 

Their solution was simple: If the road conditions are too dangerous to drive without your hazard lights on, then pull over and wait for the weather to improve before traveling. Before July 2021, the only exception in the law concerned funeral processions.  

Florida Traffic Laws After the Changes in 2021

Florida created a second exception to the prohibition against driving with emergency lights activated in 2021. Under this new law, drivers could engage their emergency lights while driving provided that the speed limit of the road was 55 mph or faster and poor weather conditions created extremely low visibility. 

The change in the law aligned Florida with many other state laws concerning the use of hazard lights. A total of 20 states permit the unrestricted use of emergency lights while driving. The remaining states generally allow the use of hazard lights under certain conditions. 

Of course, the ultimate issue is one of safety and not legality. Is it legal to drive in Florida with hazard lights? Under two exceptions, it is, but that does not mean it is a good idea. The Florida Department of Transportation correctly informed the public of the numerous dangers of driving with emergency lights flashing. 

Bad weather conditions make the roadways unsafe to travel. It is far preferable to pull over and wait for improved conditions than to soldier on with your hazard lights activated.

Riding in Low-Visibility Conditions

If you’re riding your motorcycle in Florida and visibility suddenly worsens, your best course of action is to pause your ride until the storm ends. If you must keep riding, ensure that your headlight is on, use extreme caution, and slow down. 

Law Tigers Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

If you are in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to help protect your rights. In addition, you might be able to receive compensation for your damages. At Law Tigers, we focus on riders. Our team will connect you with experienced Florida personal injury attorneys. Call us today at 1-888-863-7216 for a free case evaluation.