8 things you didn’t know were illegal to do while driving

By Bob Atoo
February 6, 2017

We all know there’s certain things we shouldn’t do while driving. Using a mobile phone, driving over the speed limit and drink driving are the obvious ones, but there’s also some surprising rules that, if broken, could land your with a fine and/or penalty points.

Below we outline eight of the more surprising actions that are actually illegal to do while driving…

1. Splashing pedestrians

pedestrian with umbrella

No, it’s not funny and it can actually result in you getting a fixed penalty notice. In some cases drivers have actually received tickets for public order offences – so you should reconsider before deliberately swerving into a puddle to drench pedestrians beside the road.

2. Taking prescription drugs before driving

drugs medical equipment

In 2015 new road-side screening devices were introduced in the UK to help identify motorists who were driving while under the influence of prescription drugs.

It may seem like no big deal, but some over-the-counter drugs can seriously hinder your ability to drive safely. Driving after taking codeine, for example, can see you banned from driving due to the drowsy side effects it can have.

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3. Using your horn when your angry

car horn

There’s lots of things that can frustrate you when you’re on the road – usually inconsiderate or unsafe drivers. A lot of us react to such situations by beeping our horns to show our annoyance, but as anyone who has passed their theory test will tell you: our car horns should only be used to warn other drivers of our presence.

Also, you are not allowed to use your horn at all in built-up areas between 11:30pm and 7am.

4. Getting out the car when parked on a single yellow line

single yellow line

You’re not allowed to park on a single yellow line, so it stands to reason that the driver is not allowed to actually leave the car when it is stopped on a single yellow.

Many of us stop on single yellows – especially when dropping people off or picking them up – but make sure you stay in the vehicle when you do so.

5. Smoking (if there are children in the car)

cigarette smoking

It is now illegal to smoke in a car if there is anyone under the age of 18 in the car with you. As the driver, you are also responsible for anyone else in the car who may smoke and break this law.

6. Letting your pet out when you break down

dog in car

The advice we always get if we break down on a busy road is to get out of the car and find a safe spot to wait for assistance. However, this advice doesn’t extend to your beloved pet – who should be left in the car in the event of a breakdown – in case they get loose and cause havoc on a dual carriageway or motorway.

7. Having a dirty number plate

car cleaning

If you’re number plate is so dirty that it cannot be clearly read, then you are breaking the law and could face an on-the-spot fine – so keep your car clean!

8. Eating while you drive

eating and driving

It’s not an automatic offence to be eating while driving – unlike, say, using a mobile phone. But similarly to using a phone while driving, eating food can distract you and cause you to drive without due care and attention – which definitely is an offence.


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