Popular UK Driving Myths – CarReg Separates the Fact from the Fiction
In this article we’ll separate the reality from the myths to hopefully keep you from unwittingly breaking driving rules. And, we’ll tell you the non-existent laws that you don’t have worry about.
Eating and Drinking While Driving is Illegal
It’s not uncommon to see drivers grabbing a bite to eat on the daily commute or sipping a cup of coffee to stay alert on the road. Many people believe that it’s illegal to eat and drink while driving. That’s a myth, but drivers are advised to avoid consuming anything as it could be a distraction and you may be deemed not to be in proper control of your vehicle.
It’s Illegal to Use a Phone for Navigation
It’s against the law to use hand-held mobile phone while driving, even when you’re stuck in traffic or waiting for traffic lights. You can use your phone’s sat-nav as long as the device is securely fixed to the windscreen or dashboard and doesn’t block your view of the road. However, you must input the address before you drive and not touch the phone while you’re on the road. If you do, you could face six points on your licence and a £200 fine.
You Can’t Have Open Alcohol in a Vehicle
We all know that you should never drink and drive, but there’s nothing stopping your passengers having a tipple on the road. So, an open alcohol container in the car is not a problem – as long as the driver isn’t over the limit. However, a passenger supervising a learner driver is subject to the same drink drive limit as the driver.
You Can Exceed the Speed Limit to Overtake
Overtaking is one of the most hazardous driving manoeuvres and it should be done as quickly and safely as possible. Many drivers think it’s okay to exceed to speed limit to complete an overtake, but that’s not the case. As with any other speeding offence, you’ll face the same fine and points on your licence.
Fully Comprehensive Insurance Enables You to Drive Any Car
Against popular belief, fully comprehensive insurance doesn’t automatically cover you to drive any other vehicle. Some policies include third-party cover to drive any car with the owner’s permission, but you often have to pay extra for that. Before you drive another vehicle, read the small print or check with your insurer to make sure you’re covered.
Speed Limits Have a 10% Tolerance
A very common driving myth is that you can drive at 10% above the speed limit without fear of prosecution. While there’s a grain of truth to this, and police officers can use their discretion, you can’t rely on it. It’s suggested by the National Police Chiefs’ Council that forces apply a 10% plus 2mph margin of error. But, if you’re caught doing just 1mph over the limit by an unsympathetic police officer or a camera, you could face prosecution.
You Can’t Drive Barefoot or in Flip Flops
It’s commonly thought that it’s illegal to drive in flip flops or without shoes, but that’s not true. But it’s important to be able to use the pedals properly. If you’re involved in an accident and your choice of footwear – or lack of it – is considered to be a contributary factor, you could be charged with careless driving.
These are just a few of the UK’s motoring myths. To be on the safe side, we recommend that you read the most up-to-date version of the Highway Code.
There are also strict rules for personalised number plates, but at CarReg we help you to stay on the right side of the law. Once you’ve chosen your plates from our vast database, we can advise you on all of the legal requirements to make the process as simple as possible for you.