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Tragic story after driver sparks debate over hazard lights

A TikTok user has sparked a heated debate over whether or not you should put your hazards on when stopped by roadworks.

User Maybe You're Right filmed the video, showing her in the driver's seat with a line of cars in front of her on a highway as she explains why the last car in the queue should keep their hazards on.

She said if you're stopped at roadworks in the middle of a highway, drivers should put hazard lights on so the car behind knows they're stationary and to stop.

Screenshot from the TikTok clip: one showing a line of cars and trucks on a country highway and on the right her dash, showing the hazard lights on.
The TikTokers use of her hazard lights at roadworks has sparked a debate. Source: TikTok/ 5678wooo

She then explains the tragic circumstances that led to her adopting the tactic.

"A few years ago in Dubbo a truck was coming around a corner and just didn't even see anyone stopped and he just rammed up the a*** of everyone," she said.

"Killed the car, killed the teenagers in front and it rattled out community so now everyone puts their hazards on so everyone knows, once there's a car behind you (like there is now) they'll put their hazards on.

"When I pulled up they had [they're hazards] on," she said, referring to the car in front of her.

"Also keep your wheel turned a little bit if you want to so if you do see someone coming up behind you you're doing that way, not straight," she suggested.

Users divided over safety of tactic

The tactic was divisive among TikTok users, some arguing it creates confusion rather than acting as a safety method.

"This is so smart," one user wrote. "Thanks for sharing."

"Smart, but can also have a downside," one user wrote. "People might think you're broken down and go around you."

"If he doesn't see the car he's not gonna see hazards," another said, with the original poster replying saying it only applies to situations where the cars are stationary.

"As a traffic controller, this is something we don't want people doing in case they try go around you and into oncoming traffic or the worksite," another said.

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Transport for NSW's Tara McCarthy explained when hazard lights should be used.

"Roadworks are necessary to keep roads in safe condition, but can be challenging to safely navigate, particularly if motorists are not closely paying attention to their surroundings," Ms McCarthy said.

"Motorists should ensure they slow down, look out for hazards and prepare to stop as they approach roadworks. They should look out for road workers and follow instructions from traffic controllers.

"Additionally they must also obey any temporary speed limits and any temporary traffic signals in place at the roadwork site.

"The Road Rules outline the circumstances in which hazard warning lights can be used. This includes that a driver may use hazard warning lights when the vehicle is stopped and is obstructing, or is likely to obstruct, the path of other vehicles or pedestrians or the driver is driving in hazardous weather conditions (for example, fog or smoke)."

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