Driving Myth Buster: Part 1
“I once heard it’s illegal to drive….” Myth or fact? Your questions answered.
Can I eat behind the wheel? Can I drive in flips flops? There are endless driving myths that many drivers believe, but are they actually true? We’ve uncovered the truth behind which myths you can ignore, and which ones you really shouldn’t.
Is it illegal to eat and drive?
No! It is not illegal to eat and drive at the same time. However, that doesn’t mean you should chow down on that meal deal behind the wheel. If police think you’re driving poorly and not in proper control of the vehicle, they could prosecute you for careless driving.
Is it illegal to drink when driving?
The invention of drive through coffee shops has made this more common. However, similarly to eating, drinking behind the wheel can carry the same careless driving penalty, although the act itself is not illegal.
Can I pay with my phone at the drive through?
If you use your phone while driving, you could land yourself six penalty points and a maximum £1000 fine. With the increasingly common usage of Apple and Google pay, more drivers are wondering if they can use their phone at the drive through. New drivers would even lose their licence!
The answer? It depends. If you use your phone to pay for your maccies or flat white you could find yourself in trouble if the engine is off. To stay within the law, simply switch off your engine and apply your handbrake before getting out your phone.
Can I drive in high heels/flips flops/bare feet?
As long as you can safely operate the vehicle, there are no specific laws as to what should be on your feet, if anything at all! However, the DVSA says : “Suitable shoes are particularly important behind the wheel. We would not recommend driving barefoot because you don’t have the same braking force with bare feet as you do with shoes on.”
This doesn’t mean you should hop behind the wheel in stilettos or sandals, as we’re not sure they would constitute sensible footwear.
The basic guidelines for choosing suitable driving footwear include:
• Soles no thicker than 10mm
• Soles that are not too thin or soft
• Footwear with enough grip to stop your foot from slipping off the pedals
• Shoes that are not too heavy
• Shoes that do not limit ankle movement
• Shoes that are narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once
Is it illegal to drive with headphones?
There is no law against wearing headphones whilst driving, however road safety groups advise against it Wearing headphones can block out surrounding sounds and lead to reduced awareness. This could result in a nasty crash if you miss traffic warnings or emergency vehicle sirens.
Can I make calls using hands free while driving?
Yes, you can use your hands free system while driving. However just like eating, you can be fined if police think you are distracted. Additionally, if you touch your phone at any point you could find yourself with six penalty points and a £200 fine. If you must take a phone call while driving, make sure you are using a Bluetooth system which eliminates the need to touch your phone.
Is it illegal to adjust my sat-nav while driving?
You should not adjust your sat-nav while driving. Sat-navs have to be a in a fixed position on either your dashboard or windscreen. This included using your phone as a sat nav. The dashboard is the best option as it won’t impede your vision.
Is it illegal to drive with the light on in a car?
Who else’s parents told them that it’s illegal to turn on the lights in the car? We would say that too to stop kids playing with the lights! Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no law against this in the UK. However, if police believe the interior light is affecting your driving, they can ask you to switch it off.
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