There are certain ‘rules’ that everybody believes when it comes to driving. We all know the ones – those you and everyone else heard from their grandparents long ago and have never questioned. Unfortunately for us, most of these are misconceptions – and some of them might surprise you.
So, without further ado, let us debunk five British driving myths.
- It’s illegal to drive without shoes (or in flip-flops)
There is no clear-cut law that states driving in flip flops or barefoot is illegal, but there is a law that states inappropriate footwear behind the wheel is illegal. There are a set of guidelines for selecting appropriate footwear to help drivers and, according to these guidelines, flip flops would be classed as inappropriate, but not technically illegal. Driving barefoot can be said to limit braking force but is again not illegal so it’s up to personal choice in Britain.
- It’s illegal to wear earphones while driving
Similarly to the above point, wearing earphones while driving isn’t illegal per se. The law states that drivers must not be distracted and must be in full control of their vehicle at all times. If wearing earphones isn’t affecting your ability to drive safely, there shouldn’t be an issue.
Research on headphones as a driving distraction has actually found that the use of headphones or speakers made no difference to the reaction times of drivers. Do with that information what you will, but remember that if earphones are personally distracting to you as a driver it’s best to leave them at home.
- You can’t use your phone as a sat-nav
It’s strictly illegal to hold a phone or sat-nav while driving. However, if you have hands-free access to a sat-nav device that doesn’t block your view of the road, you can use it while driving. Again, as long as you remain in full control of your vehicle at all times, the police have no reason to stop you.
In fact, nowadays, most modern cars come with sat-nav devices automatically inbuilt within their infotainment system. If you’re considering purchasing a new car with a sat-nav, cash competitions are a great way to bag yourself the extra cash to do so!
- You’re not allowed to eat or drink at the wheel
You’ll notice there’s a theme to these myths because no, it’s not illegal to eat or drink at the wheel as long as you have complete control of your vehicle at all times. If you do get stopped you’ll have to pay a fine of £100 and you’ll get three penalty points – so maybe it’s not worth the risk.
- It’s illegal to drive around a roundabout more than three times
This one is as old as time, and nobody knows where it’s come from. Of course it’s not illegal to drive around a roundabout more than three times. As with any manoeuvre, you should plan where you’re going before you enter a roundabout, but as long as you’re not affecting the safety of any other road users, take yourself for a spin (within reason of course).
And there you have it – 5 British driving myths debunked. Remember, if you are ever in doubt about whether something is safe or legal, double check what it says in the Highway Code, or on the Government website before setting off.