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Question about observed driving technique

The other day I was on the interstate and the guy in front of me put on his flashers as traffic backed up and we [I] had to decelerate rather rapidly.

Did this technique originate in Europe? Or the US?

Don’t know. I have done the same to let driver’s behind me know something is amiss. With distracted drivers on cell phones perhaps some flashing lights will get noticed.

Do you think the guy did you a favor? Or, do you think this is a bad action?

Nearly all new cars in Europe turn on the flashers automatically when you brake hard (as in an emergency stop).

I’m not sure the technique “originated” anywhere in particular. I think it’s just common sense. Emergency flashers are a warning device. Use them to warn other drivers when appropriate, such as when you encounter stopped traffic.

On several occasions I have encountered people driving along the interstate, at the speed limit, on clear, sunny days, with their 4-way flashers on. That one I can’t figure out.

It was common in Italy, France, and Germany when I was driving there. From 200+ Kmh to 0 in no time flat.

I learned it by observing american truckers doing it. Seemed like a good idea.
Just like putting the letters ICE in front of your emergency contact on your cell phone. Someone did it and it eventually mushroomed because it was a good idea.

I’ve been doing this for years, especially whenever I encounter a “quick stop” situation ahead to give the guy behind me a signal that something ahead is amiss. I suppose my motivation is to keep the guy behind me from crawling into my trunk.

I can’t say for sure whether I observed this in Europe, but I have seen it for many years in the US, on the part of truckers. As a result, I also began doing this quite a few years ago.

With the high percentage of distracted drivers on the road nowadays, any additional notification that you can provide could potentially prevent you from being rear-ended.

Who cares? Kudos to the guy in front of you! I wish there were more drivers on the road like that!

I’ll use my flashers in cases where traffic has backed up and I’m at the back of the line on the freeway, just to warn traffic coming up from behind that we aren’t moving more than a few mph. It doesn’t happen often in my normal driving, which tends to be mainly slow-moving city traffic even on the freeway, but I do find a use for that technique now and then.

I think the last time I used my flashers while on the road was in heavy fog on the interstate at night- you couldn’t make out anything much more than 100-150 ft ahead of you, TOPS, but you could see taillights and flashers of cars for several hundred feet more. The rational drivers were staying home. The semi-rational ones, we were over in the right hand lane caravaning at around 25 mph. The irrational ones thought they could go 55-75 mph in the fast lane. They were the ones we were trying to warn/avoid being hit by…

Thanks, I have no problem with it. Was just curious.

This is a technique used by professional drivers when they reduce their speed below the legal minimum on a limited access highway (usually between 45 and 55 MPH). All drivers should do it on highways when they want people behind them to realize they are driving below the minimum legal speed.

using the flashers a lot is better than not using them at all. ran up on a pickup on the highway the other day stopped in the passing lane picking up furniture that they hadnt secured. evidently the combined IQ of these two wasnt very high. unsecured load and stopped in the passing lane with no emergency flashers. So use em to make up for the other fools.

I’ve been doing this for as far back as I can remember. I like to think it wakes up the drivers behind me.

I first noticed truckers doing it; thought it was a good idea and started doing it myself.

Sounds like a good idea. Lots of visual clutter these days, and steady ON brake lights don’t always stand out. Many times I’ve thought the brakes lights of some car stopped in front of me had failed, only to see that something in the rear light clister did go OFF when the car started to move.

Years ago I thought that it would be good to make the brake lights flash rapidly if you hit the brakes hard. Guess I should have patented it.

I do sometimes lightly pump the brakes to make the lights flash, IF I have enough time to give the give the cars behind me the extra warning.

I have never taken the time to activate the flashers but do hit the brakes on and off for a similar effect.

They’re going the speed limit, therefore they are a hazard on the road :stuck_out_tongue:

same as waterboy and art,
I tap my brake lights many times, flashing them as a warning to those behind.
This is much much quicker that fishing around for that little switch I never use.

That’s great, as long as you aren’t making an emergency stop and you can afford to take your foot of the brake pedal. It’s also a good idea if you are on a motorcycle to do it that way since most motorcycles don’t have flashing hazard lights. Personally, I would prefer to use my brakes for stopping, and use the hazard lights to signal, so I am not trying to do both functions with the brakes at the same time.

I followed a motorcycle in traffic one time that had a feature like this. Whenever he braked, his brake light (LED type) would flash very rapidly a few times and then go to a steady light. It sure caught your attention!