Busting the driving myths

From a ban on flip flops to strict rules on what you can eat and drink in the car, there are plenty of myths around what will land you in trouble when you’re behind the wheel. Sorting the facts from the fiction will help you stay the right side of the law.

Here are five of the common myths which regularly do the rounds on social media, and what the law actually says:

  • You can’t drive in flip flops

It’s a myth but, although you won’t automatically get a fine, you could land yourself in trouble. Rule 97 of the Highway Code states that, before setting off, you need to ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner. If your flip flops, or indeed any footwear, fall foul of this, stay safe and legal by swapping them for something more suitable.


  • You must always carry your driving licence

This one’s almost ingrained in most drivers but it’s another myth. Yes, a police officer can ask to see your licence at any time but if you haven’t got it with you, you’ll have seven days to produce it at a police station. The same is true for your insurance and MOT certificates.


  • You mustn’t eat or drink while you drive

Another myth but one that’s probably worth remembering when you feel the urge for a snack behind the wheel. Although you can have something to eat or drink when you’re driving, make sure it’s not a distraction. Tucking into a well-laden burger might be exactly what you fancy but if it means your attention drifts from the road, this could be dangerous and lead to a £100 fine and points for careless driving.


  • You can break the speed limit by 10%

You can but it might not stop you getting a speeding ticket. There’s guidance that says police forces shouldn’t prosecute unless a driver exceeds the speed limit by 10% plus 2mph but it’s not law. Even if you get caught within this margin you could still find yourself with a £100 fine and three points plus the prospect of higher insurance premiums.


  • A dirty number plate can help you avoid speeding fines

This one is definitely best avoided. Yes, a speed camera may struggle to read your car’s registration number if it’s dirty or difficult to read. But, if the police clock you driving around with a dirty or illegible licence plate, you could end up with a fine of up to £1,000.


Whilst busting some of these driving myths can help you avoid a fine, penalty points on your licence and higher insurance premiums,others can make you a safer and more considerate driver.

Visit the Co-op car insurance website to find out more about our cover and get a quote for your vehicle.