As the UK is reported to have the hottest weekend of the year, drivers are urged to take extra care on the roads.
“There are some unique rules for the road that drivers may not know, which could leave them at risk of fines. Here are some of the top things for drivers to stay aware of when getting around this summer:
- Wearing flip flops: It’s important to make considered choices with driving shoes, as loose footwear can be dangerous if they slip off and potentially jam pedals. Whilst it’s not illegal to drive in flip flops, the DVSA states that drivers should be able to remain in control at the wheel, and advise they wear suitable footwear when driving.
- Hay fever medication: The increased pollen counts will mean many drivers turn to medication to help with allergies which can make them tired. Some medications which include chlorphenamine, hydroxyzine and promethazine, are known to cause drowsiness. If drivers notice themselves feeling tired or unwell at any point whilst driving, they should pull over in a safe place and take a break.
- Overloading the car: Whether heading on a staycation or driving overseas, it often means packing the car up with everything needed whilst being away. However, it’s important to stay aware of the amount being packed, with rule 98 of the Highway Code stating that drivers should not overload their vehicle with a weight greater than the manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Sun glare: Low sunsets and gleams off the dashboard can mean drivers can get dazzled by sunlight, making it hard to see clearly. Drivers are advised to wear sunglasses or get proper shielding from the sun to avoid distraction. Rule 237 of the Highway Code advises drivers to slow down or stop if they’re dazzled by bright sunlight.
“Whilst these are not illegal, they are dependent on the drivers' ability to operate the vehicle safely for themselves and other road users. If drivers don’t stick to these guidelines, they risk being stopped by police, and could even receive fines from £100 and three points on their licence if they’re considered to be driving without due care.
Other things to watch out for which could land drivers an even heftier fine include:
- Obstructed numberplate: With summer travel plans, many will be loading the car with their bicycles, or even adding a cargo carrier onto the car. But be careful, as it’s a legal requirement for drivers to make sure their number plate is always in clear view, according to the DVLA. Drivers could be fined up to £1,000 and an MOT fail for incorrectly displaying number plates.
- Pets in cars: Drivers are warned that whenever travelling with pets they should make sure they’re properly restrained for the safety of all road users. And with temperatures getting warmer, it’s important to never leave pets unattended in a vehicle. If caught driving without pets correctly restrained, drivers could face fines up to £5,000.