A new survey conducted by Warranty Direct has revealed a worrying lack of awareness when it comes to knowledge on UK driving laws. Areas of particular weakness include understanding road safety, general vehicle rules and interpretation of The Highway Code.
A report from the Department of Transport, recently revealed there were 195,576 reported driving accidents, resulting in 78,683 casualties in 2014. Despite the general public showing concern over such data, it seems the country still has a long way to go when it comes to improving their knowledge of the road.
Awareness regarding motorway driving in particular produced some troubling results. A quarter of respondents thought it was legal to both overtake and undertake on the motorway, and nearly a third think you’re allowed to pull over and sleep on the hard shoulder if you can’t find a rest stop! These are clearly extremely dangerous practices to take part in.
50% of drivers thought it was fine to flash your lights to warn fellow drivers of a speed trap, in spite of a well-publicised case in 2011 of a man being fined £440 for doing so and in turn being accused of ‘obstructing the police’.
Staying with the topic of speed, many drivers could do with revising their mph to km/h figures, especially if they have a km/h speedo in their current car. According to 32% of respondents the national single carriageway speed limit in the UK is 112km/h or 70mph, when it is in fact 60mph, which means over a third of drivers may be breaking the speed limit, without even realising it!
Other laws drivers showed a high lack of awareness of, including:
(*percentage is number of correct answers):
- It is illegal to drive barefoot (47%)
- It is illegal to use your horn whilst stationary (38%)
- You can be charged with drink driving if you’re asleep in your (stationary) car (32%)
- Accelerating through a puddle can get you three points on your licence (31%)
- You are not obliged to wear a seatbelt whilst reversing (8%)
When presented with a selection of ‘real’ and ‘fake’ driving laws just four out of the 10 genuine driving laws were spotted by more than 50% of respondents, and a high proportion of the public were also fooled into believing that a number of false laws were true.
These included having to notify the DVLA if you change your name, but not your gender (45%) and thinking you have to be able to read a post-2001 licence plate from 10 metres away (47%), when it’s actually 20 metres.
Commenting on the results of the Warranty Direct survey, Chief Operating Officer, Philip Ward said: “Our latest survey reveals there is a strong need for UK drivers to brush up on their knowledge of driving laws. The results suggest many mistakes made could be down to not knowing the appropriate laws, which can be easily rectified. We recommend any unsure drivers to re-read a copy of the Highway Code to avoid causing any dangerous situations when out on the road. ”