Malaysians are a bunch of creative people, and we have derived a variety of different meanings when using the lights on our cars to signal to others!


We use our headlights like any normal person, low beams during the night and when visibility is low. But for high beams, where although its original purpose was to illuminate dark roads when there are no oncoming drivers, we also use it for different meanings.

We flash our high beams when we want to alert other drivers on the road, and on highways, we’ll flash our high beams when we want the car in front to give way, usually on the fast lane. We also use the high beams to inform incoming drivers about potential road hazards ahead, whether it be an accident or a traffic block.

Turn Signals

The reason that we use our left and right turn signals is to notify other drivers that we wish to turn left or right, or switch to the left or right lane. Using our turn signals is important so that we let other drivers know our intention, just imagine a world without turn signals, it would be chaos driving our cars when we don’t know what other drivers want to do.

If you see a car stopped by the roadside with their left turn signals on if they are on the left shoulder and vice versa with the right turn signals, this it to show that we are stopping temporarily on the side of the road, which is evident especially in areas where they are no parking and we need to stop temporarily.

On the highway, you can also see drivers speeding on the fast lane with their right turn signals on, meaning for others to give way as they are speeding fast, usually used in combination with flashing high beams to ask other drivers to get out of the way.

Hazard Lights

The actual usage of hazard lights is to inform other drivers of as its name implies, hazards. Hazard lights should be used when our car is a potential hazard for others, like when our car has broken down on the side of the road, so that other drivers take notice of our cars in the way so that accidents can be avoided.

Hazard lights are just both left and right turn signals turned on at the same time, so the use of hazard lights is similar to when we use only one turn signal. When cars are stopped by the side of the road, especially when there is no parking, some drivers might put on their hazard lights instead of only a turn signal, this may also mean that the car may be stopping there for quite a while, commonly used when you see people loading or unloading stuff onto their cars.

You may also see people driving with their hazard lights on on the road, which might mean that they are in a hurry or it’s an emergency, wanting other drivers to give way to them. We also use hazard lights when driving during low visibility like heavy rains or fog, and also if the cars in front are stopping urgently, so that other drivers behind them can take the necessary precautions and react in time.

Let us know if we missed out on other ways Malaysian drivers use the lights on their cars, and think of if you want to sell your used cars!