Portsmouth drivers: are you breaking these road rules every day?
Every driver knows to stay within the speed limit, not to go through a red light and never to drive without insurance.
But there are more than 300 rules in the Highway Code – some less obvious than others.
And it’s entirely possible that even the most cautious driver could be inadvertently flouting the rules of the road without even realising.
Falling foul of the rules can invalidate car insurance and even leave drivers at risk of receiving between three and nine penalty points on their licence. Plus it puts drivers, passengers and other road users at risk.
We asked insurance specialists Ageas for the top rules of the road which might surprise drivers.
Be careful when parking your car at night: the rules say you shouldn’t park facing against the traffic flow unless in a recognised parking space.
Sleeping it off
Had a little too much to drink? Don’t be tempted to sleep it off in the car - even if it’s parked and the engine is switched off. You could be prosecuted for being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle.
Weather can cause lots of problems for motorists. Here are some key rules to remember:
Fog lights help other drivers to see you, but only use them when visibility is seriously affected – that’s when you can’t see more than 100 metres. If you leave them on when they’re not needed, they can dazzle other drivers; which can result in a £30 fine.
It might be tempting to leave the car running while defrosting it in cold and icy weather. Apart from being against the law, leaving an unattended car running just makes it easy for opportunist thieves to strike.
It’s not illegal to drive with snow on your vehicle’s roof, but if it falls off and causes a hazard to others, you could land a fine and three points on your licence.
Mucky roads can cause problems too. Keep number plates clean and be sure they are correctly displayed. And always keep your screenwash topped up – it’s illegal to let the screen washer bottle run dry.
When it’s wet, remember that splashing pedestrians by driving through puddles is illegal.
Who’s on board?
Travelling with a pet? Animals have to be suitably restrained while in the car. Recent research by uSwitch showed 34% of drivers aren’t aware of that rule.
It’s fine to accept money from family or friends to help with the cost of fuel, but your car insurance could become invalid if you try to make a profit from it.
Also, research has shown that 10% of comprehensive car insurance policies exclude lift-sharing – so be careful that you’re not in breach of your policy.
On the road
Using a sat-nav? Don’t stick it within the area that’s cleared by your windscreen wipers – and don’t use an unfixed mobile phone as a sat-nav. Both can get you into trouble.
It’s okay to smoke, eat or change the radio station while behind the wheel. But if it interferes with your driving, you could be found to be driving without due care and attention. It’s probably best to just pull over.
You don’t have to wear shoes to drive but it’s vital that you can operate the foot pedals safely. Make sure your footwear – or lack of it if you want to go barefoot – doesn’t interfere with your driving ability.
Know your limits
Driving too fast is obviously against the rules of the road, but so is driving too slowly without good reason. Doing so could be deemed dangerous to other drivers.
Stick to below 30mph in areas where there are street lights and no signs to indicate the limit is different. Street lights are a good way to know when you’re in an urban area.
Want to know more? For handy tips and guidance on how to stay safe while on the road, visit Ageas.