The Truth Behind These UK Driving Law Myths
There are plenty dos and don’ts when it comes to driving, and for good reason. The dangers are real, so obeying the laws of the road are crucial. However, there are certain rules we live by that are indeed only myths. Are we allowed to eat while driving? Drink? Can we drive in flip flops or even barefoot? What does the law really say about Sat Navs? Perhaps you don’t know the law as well as you thought. Let us take a look and debunk some of these driving law myths.
Eating while driving
While it is perfectly legal to eat while driving, and there are no laws stating that you can’t while behind the wheel, you must make sure your full attention is always on the road. On long journeys or on our way to work, sometimes we need to grab a quick bite, so you can absolutely scoff down that cheeseburger or slice of toast when driving. However, the police will pull you over if you aren’t operating your vehicle safely.
If you are often finding yourself out in your Ford car and wanting a quick snack in the process, then grabbing yourself a handy cool bag or cool box from someone like Millets will not only keep your food fresh but will stop you being distracted as you won’t be searching manically for that sandwich you know is around somewhere.
Drinking while driving
Of course, while it is completely unacceptable to drink alcoholic beverages when behind the wheel, and very illegal, you are indeed allowed to drink other fluids during the course of your journey. So one should never be afraid to take a sip of water or quench their first with a soft drink while driving. Not only is it good for your health to stay hydrated, but can also help to keep you alert. Just always remember that the police can prosecute you if they believe you are distracted from the road.
Like a cool bag for your snacks, having an appropriate container for your liquids is very important when driving. Having an open top cup can cause spillages and unnecessary distractions, so make sure to drink from a secure water bottle from an outfit such as Contigo, or an insulated flask like the ones from Castleberg Outdoors.
Driving in flip-flops
While driving in flip-flops isn’t illegal, it’s not exactly recommended. Flip-flops can easily slip off while operating the pedals, and are prime candidates to get caught which is obviously fraught with dangers. You can even drive barefoot as long as you are able to operate the car safely. However, the Driving Standards Agency says that, “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.”
So while there is now law to prevent you from freeing your feet, we absolutely recommend a safe and comfortable set of driving shoes. There is a vast variety to be had and their benefits certainly out way the costs. Companies like Chatham and Piloti have a great selection that not only will keep you safe but allow you to look good in the process.
Chatham spoke to us about the virtues of wearing the correct footwear.
"Bare feet while driving may be perfectly legal, but if you have never tried a pair of driving shoes you will be presently surprised by the comfort, the control and the flexibility. Driving shoes are designed for just that, driving! Chatham driving shoes are made with the best quality leather and suede, with a design that combines the ultimate in comfort and flexibility."
There is some confusion that exists regarding the legality of using a Sat Nav while driving. These devices have of course become incredibly popular over the years, allowing drivers to navigate their way around the world. There are no current laws regarding their usage but the police can and will pull you over if you are deemed to be driving in a dangerous manner. The Highway Code dictates that windscreens must be clean and free of obstruction, so always be careful when securing your Sat Nav making sure your sight is in no way impeded by its use.
So now that we all know the lay of the land regarding Sat Navs, and that they must be secured at all times while not obstructing our view, we will want to make sure that we have the best piece of kit. Sites like Trusted Reviews are a great resource for this type of thing, and have compiled lists on the best deals. While Handtec is a site that has a great selection of products from all the top brands such as Garmin and TomTom.
Driving 10 percent over the speed limit
A myth exists that it is okay to drive ten percent over the speed limit, this however is indeed a myth and should not be put into practise. There have even been a new set of laws introduced that will crack down on speeders. This means that if you are caught driving between one and 10mph over the speed limit, you could have to pay fines that are equivalent to 50% of your weekly salary and face 3 penalty points.
If you are caught travelling between 11 and 20 mph, the fine rises to 100% of your weekly salary and 4 penalty points. Then there is a punishment of 150% of your weekly salary, 6 points and possibly disqualification from driving for up to 56 days for exceeding the speed limit by 21mph plus. The speed limits exist for a reason, for the safety of you and everyone else, they must always be adhered to.
Using the phone while stationary
We all know, or should know, that driving while on the phone is a grave offence and incredibly dangerous. But is it okay to make a call when stationary? If you’re stuck in traffic, you might think that it is indeed ok to call work to say that you will be late, but if your car’s engine is on, this is an illegal offence. Using your phone while driving could cost you points and a fine, and courts won’t care that your car wasn’t on the move.
While using headphones, hands-free, or a speaker phone will of course free up your hands and allow you to drive, if you seem distracted on the road you can still be stopped and penalised by the police. So drive safely and legally by securing your phone to the car with a phone holder or in-car mount such as the ones available from place like mobilefun.