10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know Were Illegal to do While Driving​

When you pass your driving test you might know the highway code like the back of your hand. But as time passes, you might find yourself picking up bad habits. But what if you’ve picked up bad habits that are illegal? At Magna Mazda we’ve put together a list of 10 surprising things you might not know are illegal to do while driving.

1.Signalling to give way with your lights​

​You might think it’s polite to signal drivers to let drivers know they can go through, but flashing your lights is considered an offence in the case of an accident. Full beam headlight flashes should be restricted for use to warn other drivers of your presence on the road. For example, on winding country roads at night.

2.Parking at night on the wrong side of the road​

​This driving offence is detailed under rule 248 of the Highway Code. It says you must not park on a road at night facing against the traffic flow. This is because your car’s headlights could dazzle oncoming traffic, causing an accident.

3.Using your unfixed mobile phone as a sat nav​

​If your mobile isn’t fixed to a windscreen or dashboard, it is illegal to use it as a hand-held sat nav. If you are found using your phone unlawfully you could receive a £200 fine and six points on your licence.

4.Paying with your phone at a drive-thru

We’re all so used to tapping away on our phones to pay, you might not have known this is illegal. You could face a maximum £1,000 fine of six penalty points if you’re caught using your phone to pay. However, it is perfectly legal to use your phone to pay if your engine is turned off and your gearbox is in neutral.

5.Having a dirty number plate

​How often you choose to clean your car is really up to you, but if it affects the legibility of your number plate you could face a fine up to £1,000. So, before you set off, ensure your number plate is squeaky clean.

6.Sleeping in your car inebriated

If you’ve had a few drinks and think getting in your car to sober up and catch some z’s is a good idea, think again. The law states that the person in charge of the vehicle shouldn’t be intoxicated. If you are caught sleeping in your car drunk, you could get a minimum of 10 points on your licence!


​If any of your passengers are under the age of 18, it is illegal to smoke in the same car as them. If you have passengers in the car that wish to smoke, you are also responsible for them and could face a penalty.

8.Splashing a pedestrian with puddles​

​Splashing pedestrians with rainwater is a driving offence because you are driving ‘without reasonable consideration for other persons’ and could result in a fine.

9.Beeping your horn out of frustration​

​When someone does something infuriating on the road, especially if it puts you in danger, you might be tempted to beep your horn at them. Nonetheless, beeping your horn should be reserved only to warn other drivers of your presence when visibility is limited.

10.Eating on the go​

It’s perfectly legal to eat on the go, but if your snacking causes you to drive without care and cause an accident, it could get you in trouble.

If you are looking for a new car, Magna Mazda has Mazda dealerships across Dorset and Hampshire. Visit us today to view our range of new and used Mazda’s for sale, visit our showrooms in Christchurch, Poole, Salisbury or Southampton.

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