ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Say you’re in a snow or rainstorm and visibility is reduced. You may wonder if it is legal to use your hazard lights to let other drivers know you’re there.

The answer, according to Illinois law, is: no, it is illegal to do so.

Although heavy rain or snow can limit visibility, adding more light to the situation doesn’t help, as the light reflects off the raindrops or snowflakes, creating a glare that makes it more difficult for other drivers to see properly.

The Illinois Vehicle Code says: “Flashing lights are prohibited on motor vehicles except as expressly authorized in this Chapter or as a means for indicating a right or left turn, lane change, or a maneuver of a vehicle from a direct course of travel as provided in Section 12-208 or the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care.”

Hazard lights are only to be used if:

  • You’ve been in an accident;
  • You’re changing a tire, or the car is broken down;
  • You’re in a funeral procession;
  • You’re being pulled over by police.