Seven Driving Mistakes to Avoid During This Heatwave

Summer in the UK is always quite a sight to behold, especially a stroll down the park or a pleasant walk under the sun. The moment the sun comes out shining, everything starts to teem with life and activities. Suddenly, your cities are more cheerful and bustling.

The summer season can affect the driving behaviour of people for both good and bad. It may make you want to grab a cool beer or put on flip flops. What’s interesting is that not many people are aware of the mistakes they are prone to making when the temperature increases. Drink driving and drug driving penalties increase in the summertime in the UK and our advice is to avoid drinking alcohol altogether if you are going to be behind the wheel of a car.

So, let’s look at some common mistakes that drivers end up making in the summer season.

1. Wearing unsuitable sunglasses

Yes, this is no joke. If you drive around your car wearing the wrong sunglasses, you are looking at a fine of up to £2,500. You must be racking your brains trying to make sense of this motor law. Well, for the uninitiated, sunglasses are classified into four grades based on the amount of light they can filter. Most sunglasses are designed for safe driving and can filter out 18 to 43 per cent of light. However, if you are using sunglasses that only filter up to 8 per cent light then these are deemed unsuitable for driving purposes.

2. Drinking while driving

It’s quite natural for you to feel thirsty and get a quick swig of water when you are behind the wheel. Of course, drinking while driving might come across as a harmless practice that needs to be done with some extra caution, but if it turns out that drinking causes distraction, then you’re dealing with a serious offence. If caught drinking in unsafe circumstances, posing a threat to people on road, you could be charged with a £100 fine. You will be safe as long as you are in control of the vehicle. Our advice is that you don’t drink in a moving car and that you stop your car in a safe place

3. Wearing flip flops

The best part about the summer is that you are never short of ways to beat it in style. As soon as the sun starts shining, flip flops will replace your shoes. When it’s summer, it is more comfortable and stylish to put on your favourite flip-flops. However, did you know It is illegal to drive vehicles in your flip flops? Any attempt to drive vehicles in unsuitable footwear can put the lives of road users at great risk. If found guilty of posing a threat to fellow passengers or road users, you could get penalised.

4. Taking hayfever medication

Hayfever is notorious for hitting its peak during the summer season. The condition could make driving a real nightmare for sufferers. In fact, it’s commonplace to see drivers blowing their nose whilst driving. Drivers who take medication for hayfever are running a risk of getting a driving ban. Antihistamines in your medication can impair your ability to drive and cause sluggishness. If the police catch you under a heavy influence of the medication, you will be penalised under drug-driving law. Simply take your medication, rest and get behind the wheel when you feel better.

5. Throwing things out of widows

While enjoying the pleasant breeze of the summer with your windows rolled down, you may just try to get rid of the litter by throwing it out of your window. Of course, not everyone one does that, but we have all seen people who do it!. It’s a terrible practice that typically goes unpunished most of the time. If you are one of those irresponsible people who throw litter out car or van window the next time you could find yourself with a hefty fine. Our advice is to carry plastic bags in your car to collect the rubbish and dispose in a bin at your next stop.

6. Smoking while driving

On the surface, lighting up a cigarette and smoking inside your own may look like a totally harmless practice. However, smoking in your vehicle in the presence of a passenger under the age of 18 is considered illegal. So, before lighting up that cigarette, show some consideration for passengers in your vehicle. As the owner of the vehicle, you will also need to take responsibility for anyone who wants to smoke in your vehicle.

7. Letting your dog loose

It’s a gorgeous summer and you may want to take your dog along with you as you bask in the sun. However, if you want to drive around with your dog in the car, you want it to remain relaxed and still. Ideally, you want them laying on the back seat of your vehicle, in the boot of the car or in the passenger footwell. Erratic behaviour of your dog could impair your concentration behind the wheel. Your inability to restrain your dog properly can get you a penalty of up to £5,000 and 9 points.

With this invaluable information at your disposal, you can not only avoid unwanted fines but conquer bad driving habits this summer.

Driving law, the leading motor legal consultants in the UK, offers expert legal advice by mail for just £25. Whether you’ve been caught driving while disqualified, drink driving, drug driving, you’ve been charged with a speeding offence, or any other illegal motoring act, are here to help.