Is it Legal to Drive with Flashers on in South Dakota?
I've been guilty of driving down the road, radio blaring, before I notice that I have had my blinker on for several miles. I'm far from being the best driver on the road. But once in a while, a subject comes up while traveling. My son and I were recently driving back to Sioux Falls through a heavy downpour (he was driving) and the subject of driving with flashers on came up.
Let me preface this story, with a little background. It's my opinion that the only times you turn on your flashers in your car or pickup is when you are stopped along the road. I was taught to only have them on IF I wasn't moving and safely pulled over along the side of the road. The only other time, in my world, driving with my flashers on in South Dakota would be if my vehicle was disabled so badly that I could only drive 5-10 miles per hour.
The other night, during a heavy downpour, several travelers had found refuge under an interstate overpass, with, you guessed it, their lights flashing as they were parked till the storm passed. [Yes they were parked under the overpass in a construction zone, which is another story altogether] Remember, the vision was limited so print that in your brain. Lights flashing, vehicles stopped. That's when we saw a couple of drivers traveling, in the rain, driving 'somewhat slower than they normally would, with their flashers on.
I get it. The driver of the car with flashers on, while traveling wanted to let people know that the weather was inclement driving somewhat slower than the speed limit, which is understandable, but we were in a construction zone with several vehicles already following unable to pass.
IF you are parked or driving SLOWER than posted limits, maybe. But when you are moving, with people already following you, I'm not sure flashers are necessary. After all, it's not a funeral procession or a parade down the main street.
By the way, it IS legal to drive with your flashers on in South Dakota. There are some states where it is not. For example, Georgia says, unless you are stopped or creeping, you cannot drive with flashers on. They state that doing just that can cause the slowing of traffic even more and cause other problems. AJC reported;
A metro Atlanta police department recently warned its residents that using hazard lights while you're driving may incorrectly signal to other motorists that you're stopped or otherwise traveling much slower than other traffic.
"They may think they're doing everybody a favor, but in reality, they're creating confusion," Wysocky said, explaining that in some cars, the bulbs for hazard lights may be the same as the ones for your brake lights or turn signals. "People may think you're stopped in the roadway."
South Dakota does allow using flashers when you drive. I would imagine it's due to farm machinery possibly being on the road traveling at a slower speed, but in the rain, on the interstate?
How about you? Do you drive with your flashers on? Or is it a no for you too? By the way, note to the engineers of Dodge Ram pickups. It's pretty easy to accidentally activate flashers when turning up your radio.
Thank you for sharing this story with people who like to talk about 'other drivers.'
See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State