We’re all prone to the odd driving habit we wished we could shake, whether it’s crossing hands or missing gears, but there are a few that could see you in a spot of bother with the law. Today we look at a few of those habits we need to kick if we want to avoid the possibility of paying an unwanted fine.
Eating behind the wheel
I think we have probably all been here. It’s a long slog down the motorway, you rushed out the door and didn’t have breakfast, a few hours in that tummy is rumbling and you want to grab something to eat but don’t want to waste time sitting to eat it. Studies show that up to 65% of British drivers have treated ourselves to a snack behind the wheel, however, that quick lunch may end up costing you more than you had hoped. Anyone distracted at the wheel or be deemed as failing to operate their vehicle correctly due to eating could be committing a driving offence. Rule 148 of the Highway Code declares “safe driving needs concentration” and deters drivers from eating, drinking, smoking, listening to loud music or trying to read a map behind the wheel.
Splashing pedestrians when driving through a puddle
We’ve seen the videos, we’ve all secretly wanted to do it, but as tempting as splashing the poor innocent by standers stood by a puddle, we need to refrain. It falls under section three of the Road Traffic Act 1998 which states an offence has been committed if a driver is “without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road.” You could be slapped with a fixed penalty notice for it!
Having too dirty a number plate
This one makes complete sense but often goes over people’s heads. A number plate is like an ID card for your vehicle. If you’re speeding, driving dangerously or someone just needs to take note of your car, your number plate needs to be visible. Just one letter or number being too dirty to read will mean you’re breaking the law and could land you with a large fine.
Specific Prescription Drugs
Whenever taking prescription drugs, you should read the packaging and check if they could lead to you being charged with drug driving. Drug driving is as serious offense as drink driving and the count is on the rise. Obviously recreational drugs including heroin, cocaine and cannabis are obviously illegal to take while driving, more common legal medication includes:
Amphetamine, eg dexamphetamine or selegiline
Morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, eg codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
Driving too slowly
Yep, we all know that driving too quickly is dangerous, but so is driving too slow. There is no fixed lower speed limit you have to adhere to on most roads but if you are seen to be a hazard to other motorists you can be charged. It is believed that more than 150 road accidents per year on British roads are caused by people driving too slowly.
So, take care out on the roads, and take our advice and you’ll stay out of trouble!