Every driver should be aware of the highway code and the rules that are in place to keep you and other road users as safe as possible at all times. There are some common myths that often get passed on by word of mouth, which are often far from the truth. Many drivers think that tasks such as eating, drinking, and driving in unsuitable footwear can result in you being pulled over by a police officer and getting points on your licence, and whilst this is not always the case, you should take great care at all times to avoid putting yourself and others at risk.
Eating and drinking whilst driving
Despite what you may have heard, it is not illegal to eat or drink whilst driving (excluding excessively drinking alcohol of course) so you are able to snack at the wheel without the risk of being pulled over. It is important to bear in mind that although you may not be breaking any UK driving laws, eating or drinking can provide a distraction and prevent you from observing the speed limit and driving safely. The last thing you will want is to get snapped by a speed camera or give the police a reason to believe you are driving without due care and attention, as you could be prosecuted.
Open alcohol in the car
Despite laws across the pond in the US, there are no laws preventing you from having open alcohol in your car in the UK. We would recommend against driving around with a car full of open bottles and cans, and in the event that you are pulled over you will most likely be breathalysed by police, so its best to steer clear of any type of open beers, wines or spirits in your vehicle.
Driving with unsuitable footwear
Many are uncertain on the rules regarding footwear whilst driving, and technically there are no laws to say that you can’t drive barefoot or with inappropriate footwear. Despite this, anything that prevents you from operating the controls of your car safely is considered illegal. If you drive without shoes and your feet are wet or they are not able to control the pedals properly, this is not safe, and you will be putting road users at risk.
Driving with headphones
There is no specific UK law that states you cannot drive with headphones in, but it is not recommended as loud music can be a significant distraction. It is important to be able to not only see but hear everything around you and having headphones in will prevent you from being able to do this. Using headphones can encourage careless driving, as you to want to change songs or adjust the volume and could mean using your mobile phone, which is an offence punishable by law.
Driving with a sat nav
Whilst it is illegal to drive whilst using your mobile phone, a sat nav is allowed to be used provided it is in a fixed position at all times. We would recommend mounting your sat nav to your dashboard rather than your windscreen, as it is less likely to be as distracting and will not obstruct your view.
Many of the commonly used driving myths we have covered are not deemed illegal, but we would advise against doing them due to the distractions that they cause and the danger you are putting the occupants of your vehicle and other road users in. You should always be as observant as possible when on the road, paying attention to your surroundings and following the highway code. It also helps to make sure your car is safe and roadworthy, so consult our expert team at Double Dee Autos to book in a service or repair. Give us a call on 020 8460 3040 or email [email protected] to find out more about how we can help.