Bad driving habits you might not know are illegal
Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have our bad habits. Whilst biting your nails or slurping your soup might be annoying for your colleagues or significant others, they aren’t things that could see you in trouble with the law.
While they might seem innocent enough to you, there are certain bad habits that are illegal when behind the wheel. Are you guilty of any of these bad driving habits?
Applying make-up at the wheel
You might think it’s harmless multitasking when you’re running late for work but turning your car into a beauty salon could lead to a prosecution for driving without due care and attention or, as it is more commonly referred to, careless driving.
Checking your sat-nav
In this day and age, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how people got around without the convenience of a sat-nav. But do you make sure your sat-nav is secure and has the correct address in before you set off? If you attempt to enter your destination or try to place your sat-nav on your windscreen, then you could be breaking the law. While you are allowed to use sat-navs when driving, you could get stopped and penalised if the police think you’re not in control of your vehicle while doing so.
Eating while driving
Whether its satiating your hunger with some snacks or having your lunch on the go, you’ve probably eaten at the wheel at some time in your driving life. It isn’t illegal to eat behind the wheel, however, you could be prosecuted for careless driving if your snacking leads you to lose control of the car.
Driving off with snow on your roof
With our British weather, we’re not always guaranteed snow in the winter months. And that may be why motorists aren’t aware of this bad winter habit. Driving with snow on your roof could result in you having a run in with the law as it shows you haven’t removed everything that could fall from your car and cause an accident. The snow could also fall down onto your windows, meaning you haven’t properly cleared every glass panel on your vehicle.
Not only is throwing your rubbish out of your car window bad for the environment and poor motoring etiquette, you could also face a fine for doing so.
If you have passengers under the age of 18, smoking in your car is now illegal following the introduction of a new law.
Flashing your headlights
Have you ever flashed your lights at someone in a bout of road rage urging them to move lane? If so, it might be worth knowing that flashing your headlights is only permitted when alerting other road users of your presence.
Hands-free phone use: the law
You are allowed to use a phone if it is fully hands-free – you’re not allowed to pick it up and operate it even momentarily.
Any hands-free devices should be fully set up before you drive, so you can take calls without handling the device.
The police still have the power to stop you if they believe you have been distracted by using a mobile phone while driving, even if it’s fully hands-free. Some road safety groups believe mobile phones should be completely switched off while driving, to avoid any distractions.
Using a phone as a sat-nav: the law
It is no excuse to say you’re simply following the mapping on your hand-held device. The mobile phone law specifically refers to this, stating it is illegal to use a hand-held mobile to follow a map.
If you wish to use smartphone navigation or a mapping app, fix the phone to the windscreen or dashboard, so it’s in clear view for use while driving (but not obstructing your view), without requiring you to hold it.
DID YOU KNOW: It is illegal to smoke in a car in certain circumstances