The UK’s leading car leasing supplier Leasecar.uk has compiled a list of the laws many drivers break without even realising it.
It includes rules such as hitting the horn in anger, driving in the middle lane of the motorway and paying with your mobile phone when going through the Drive Thru.
Other rules on the list include splashing an unlucky pedestrian with puddle water, using your mobile phone as a sat nav and flashing your lights to give way.
A spokesperson for Leasecar.uk said: “It’s easy to forget some of the rules of the road when it comes to driving - particularly for those of us who perhaps passed our driving tests many moons ago.
“Sometimes it’s a case of forgetting the Highway Code we learned as teenagers but in other cases, such as around the use of mobile technology, it could be because those rules were only introduced in recent times.
“Every driver has a duty to keep their knowledge up to date and that includes refreshing their memory of the Highway Code and keeping abreast of the rules around new technologies. We hope our study will help to make the roads just that little bit safer.”
Here are the ten rules many drivers forget or don’t know:
Using your mobile phone as a sat nav in an unfixed position
It is illegal to use your phone as a sat nav if it is not fixed on your windscreen or dashboard. The phone must also be in clear sight for use while driving, without you having to hold it.
Due to the recent law change, if you are caught breaching this, you will receive six points on your license and a £200 fine. If you have had your license for less than two years, you could also face a driving ban.
Flashing your lights to give way
Many of us will flash our lights to other motorists to let them go through, but you are not legally allowed to use your lights to do this.
Headlamp flashes should only be used to warn other drivers of your presence. If you are caught flashing your headlights for any other reason, such as using them to warn others of a speed trap, you could face a minimum of a £30 fine.
Eating or drinking while driving
Whilst eating or drinking behind the wheel might not be strictly against the law, it is frowned upon. But if you’re distracted by doing things such as snacking, drinking, applying makeup or changing a CD in your car, the police can prosecute you, as you may not be in complete control of your vehicle.
If you are distracted and not in control, you could face a £100 fine and anything from three to nine penalty points.
Splashing a pedestrian with rain water
Believe it or not, if you splash a pedestrian on the pavement with rain water, you could face a fine of anything from £100 - £5,000. This is because it is classed as an offence to drive “without reasonable consideration for other persons.”
Paying with your phone at a drive through restaurant
Whilst it may seem like the easiest option to swipe your phone through the machine and go, you could face a maximum £1,000 fine or six penalty points if you use your smartphone to pay for your meal at a drive thru.
If you do prefer to use your phone rather than a contactless card, you must make sure your engine is switched off and your handbrake is applied.
Driving in the middle lane of the motorway
If you spend most of your time in the middle of the motorway and don’t pull into the inside lane after overtaking, then you could see yourself being slapped with a fine.
Staying in the middle lane falls into the category of ‘careless driving’ and punishment for this is three penalty points and up to a £100 fine.
Having a dirty number plate
If there’s one thing you should do before getting behind the wheel, it’s checking your number plates. This is because dirty and ‘unreadable’ number plates could leave you with a fine of up to £1,000. Cars are inevitably going to get dirty on the roads, but just don’t let them get too filthy.
Letting pets out the car if you’re broken down on the hard shoulder
If you are broken down on the hard shoulder you are not allowed to let your pets out of your car. This a rule that is stated in the Highway Code. It is only in an emergency you can actually let them out. Failing to do so can land you with a driving-offence charge.
Beeping your horn in anger
We’ve all had those days where we’ve experienced a little road rage and been tempted to honk our horns in frustration. But it is important to always avoid doing this. Beep your horn for any other reason than alerting someone of your presence and you could receive a £30 fine.
Sleeping in your car when drunk
If you find yourself over the limit DO NOT even think that sleeping in your car to sober up is a good idea. The law states that those in charge of a motor vehicle should not be inebriated. Police have been known to class sleeping as being in charge – so always avoid doing this to be on the safe side. You could potentially get a minimum of 10 points and a fine.