A car has many signalling devices such as brake lights, indicators, hazard warning lights, reversing lights, the car horn and headlights. These signalling devices have been used by the driver to be able to tell the other road users what they will intend to do. These devices are helping them “read the road” as they signal to give advance warnings to other road users what you intend to perform whether a stop, a manoeuvre or anything else.
Remember that giving an appropriate signal at the correct time possible and then place and correctly interpret the signals of other road users are vitally important for the safety of all road users in the vicinity. Make sure that your signals must be given in good timing before you start a manoeuvre.
Your signal should also be done long enough so that the meaning of it will be clear to other road users. Don’t signal too soon as this could cause confusion which could result to fatal road accident.
For example: the indicator lights are coloured yellowish-brown and they’re located at the rear or front. You use this indicator to show an intended change of direction, whether turning right or left or moving out into the road. You will only need to use your indicators if other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists are visible. Use them in good timing, giving other road users enough time to react and correctly interpret your signal.
Once you have completed the manoeuvre, make sure to cancel the indicator otherwise you may confuse other road users. An example is the hazard warning light. When you’ll turn on your hazard warning lights, all indicators that your vehicle has, begin to flash. Turning on these lights will warn other road users of a potential hazard. This hazard is usually your own car or a road obstacle.
Never turn on your hazard warning lights when parking in dangerous location or parking illegally or whilst towing.
When you press the brake pedal, you activate the two rear brake warning lights. These signal to the traffic behind you that you are slowing down. Brake lights have red colour. It’s important to remember that when driving at night, standard rear lights are also red.
Even though brake lights are brighter compared to the standard rear lights, you still need to pay close attention to ensure that you’ll see brake lights are activated.
Another situation where the brake light can give useful warning to the other road users is when you’re stationary or especially when you’re in low light or low visibility condition. As a vehicle approaches you from the rear, immediately press your brake pedal to activate your brake lights. This will warn the other drivers of your presence in the area.
When you flash your headlights, you must be guided by the rules. According to the Highway Code, the only valid use of flashing the headlights is to warn other road users of your presence.
Never flash your headlights to try and intimidate other road users or to give them instructions. It’s common for drivers to use the headlight flash as a signal to tell the other road users that the way ahead is clear. However it’s advisable that such signals are ignored. Because logically, how can you be certain that the way ahead is clear or this is really what the flashing was meant for?
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