Driving Myths Debunked!

Urban legend is a wonderful thing, everyone who has ever listened will, at some point, have heard a “true story” about driving, and passed it on with urgency to all their friends and family. These days, we have social media to help us to spread those stories far and wide too, so I thought it might be useful to go through some of the top stories that I’ve heard and clarify whether they are true or false…

  1. You can drive at speeds 10% over the speed limit and not get prosecuted for it.
  2. False. Nice try, sunshine – but the speed limit is the speed limit. The guidance for 10% + 2mph is exactly that, guidance. It’s not written into legislation, so there is no compulsion on the Police to adhere to this. Drive within the speed limit, and there will be no issue.
  3. If speed cameras don’t flash, they haven’t caught you speeding.
  4. False. Sorry, folks. If you’re speeding, there is a chance that you will get caught, and you’ll have to face the penalties for that. Some of the newer speed cameras use infra-red technology to record your details digitally, so again, stick within the speed limits, and you’ll be fine.
  5. It is against the law to eat a sandwich whilst driving.
  6. False. There is no specific law preventing you from eating your lunch as you drive along the M5 or the A40, but you can get into difficulty if you’re deemed to not have proper control of your vehicle, as that can result in a charge of dangerous driving. Picture the scene – if you are merrily driving along and taking a bite from a sandwich, returning it to the wrapper in between whilst you happily chew on the bready delights, it would be fine to assume that you had control of your vehicle. However, if you were driving along with a sandwich in one hand, a cup of tea in the other hand and a bag of crisps in your lap, then you’re leaving yourself vulnerable! You can’t realistically steer your car in this situation, so you should really avoid that scenario.
  7. You can’t drink alcohol if you are a passenger in a car.
  8. False! As many limo drivers will tell you -their passengers enjoy a glass of bubbly as they are being driven in style to the party of choice. As long as it’s not the driver who is drinking the booze, there is no problem.
    The confusion for this one may stem from the fact that there are several states in America where it is illegal, but not so in the UK.
  9. It is illegal to use your mobile phone at a petrol station.
  10. Those of you who pay attention when filling up your vehicle will probably have seen the warning signs telling you not to use your mobile at the pump. Several horror stories about exploding cars and sparks from mobiles setting the pumps on fire have also circulated over the years. The Petroleum Equipment Institute have proved that there is no danger in using your mobile at the pump, so it’s not illegal, but some garages like to enforce it on their own property.

So, there are my top 5 myths busted for you – what stories have you heard? Perhaps I can bust the myth in my next instalment