Hazardous Hazard Lights

I can’t be the only road user who has been duped by false indicators. The situation goes something like this: on the road up ahead of you there are a line of vehicles parked. One of those vehicles is indicating to pull out and so you slow down to let him out. You keep slowing and slowing until you get right up to the vehicle. Only then do you realise that it is not indicating but, in fact, it has its hazard lights on and is stationary.

This may not sound like a big problem. If you are a motorist then it probably isn’t – you feel a little silly, you may have annoyed the cars behind you, but you just speed up and keep going. If, however, you (like me) are a cyclist then it is a bit more dangerous.

As a cyclist you have to slow down because if you don’t, and the vehicle is actually pulling out into the road, then you’ll get hit or will be forced to swerve to avoid it. But when you slow down, other road users may not notice that you have done so or may think that you are about to stop and pull in to the side of the road and so they will attempt to overtake you. This can lead to cars coming too close to you, especially when you begin to speed up again once you’ve realised that the stationary vehicle is not pulling out.

Anyway, all of this leads me to one simple question: why can’t cars, buses, and lorries be designed so that their hazard lights flash differently to their indicators?

Surely we are advanced enough to make those little orange lights flash at different speeds depending on which button has been pressed?! Seeing as we have car seats that can gently warm your bum cheeks while you are driving, I’m sure it is not beyond the minds of our car manufacturers to make a light flash differently!