Learning to drive means finding out how a car works, what road signs stand for and what signals mean. Once you have passed your test there’s more to think about than just getting into and out of narrow car parking spaces or reversing out of a tight spot.
Everyone knows not to use their phone at the wheel and what the national speed limit is. Unfortunately, there are other common mistakes which are actually illegal, many of which drivers don’t even know about. Here are the top seven minor offences some drivers regularly commit without even realising.
- Taking prescription drugs before driving – driving while taking prescription drugs may get you into trouble. Over the counter drugs like codeine could see you banned from driving while taking them. Other drugs which cause drowsiness can also cause potential problems for drivers. Did you know there are now new driving limits for a string of prescription drugs?
- Sounding your horn in anger – a car’s horn should only be used to alert other drivers of your presence, for instance driving over narrow bridges or around tight corners when visibility is limited. Most drivers are guilty of tooting their horns in anger out of frustration with other road users. It’s also actually illegal to sound your horn between 11.30 p.m. and 7.00 a.m. unless in an emergency situation. You could have to pay a £1,000 fine if you are caught.
- Splashing pedestrians with puddles – unfortunately living in the UK, puddles are difficult to avoid for drivers. It’s actually against the law to intentionally splash pedestrians when driving through puddles at speed. If caught doing so, you could be handed a fixed penalty notice or even given a ticket for a public order offence after deliberately splashing pedestrians.
- Getting out of the car on a single yellow line – drivers should know that you can’t park on single yellow lines so you would expect that the driver shouldn’t get out of the vehicle. Single yellow lines are designed for drivers to pick up or drop off passengers. The driver should not get out of the vehicle at any time.
- Having a dirty number plate – make sure your car number plates are not obscured or dirty or you could be in trouble. Registration plates must be fully visible at all times when a car is in use. If your plates are too dirty or if just one number or letter is obscured, you are breaking the law.
- Smoking – from October 2015 it has been illegal to smoke in your car if any passenger is under 18. As the driver of your motor, you are solely responsible to make sure that none of your passengers smoke if there is a minor in the vehicle.
- What to do with your pet if you break down – most drivers are aware that if you break down on a motorway you should pull over to the hard shoulder, get out of the vehicle and wait in a safe place. If you have a pet in the car what you must not do is take it out of the vehicle while waiting for recovery services, leave it inside until help arrives.
So there we have it, seven minor offences to avoid when out driving so you’re not breaking the law.