Question: Is it illegal for a person to travel with their hazard lights on in inclement weather such as a blizzard, fog or a hard rain?

Answer: A driver can use their hazard lights to warn other motorists of a vehicular traffic hazard that requires caution in approaching, overtaking or passing.

Situations with limited visibility such as a blizzard, thick fog and heavy rains would constitute a traffic hazard. Other hazardous scenarios could include a vehicle:

  • that is having issues maintaining a minimum safe speed,
  • that had a flat tire or mechanical breakdown on the shoulder of the road,
  • that is following an impaired driver.

Responsible driving is remaining alert and being prepared. Take note of “no travel advisories.” Know before you go and check with road conditions at www.511mn.org. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN 511) app is very helpful. Be sure to have your winter travel survival kit, extra warm clothing and try to keep as much fuel in your vehicle as possible.

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A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).