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Are these bad driving habits illegal?

A motorist eats a burger whilst driving

Most drivers will confess to having picked up one or two bad habits behind the wheel. But while some of these are obviously illegal, like speeding, there are some habits that could put you on the wrong side of the law without you realising it.

Here are some common habits that could get you in trouble:

Eating whilst driving

Crunching an apple or biting into a sandwich behind the wheel isn't technically illegal, but it can be very dangerous. You could also be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention, which typically means a £100 fine and three points on your driving licence.

Sounding your horn

Many drivers have beeped at fellow road users in frustration, but this is actually against the law as it can be distracting and cause accidents. It's also illegal to sound your horn while stationary, or when driving in built-up areas between 11.30pm and 7am – get caught and you could receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £30.

Updating sat nav on-the-move

If you need to plug in an address on your sat nav (whether on a separate device or an app on your phone), you must do it before you set off. It's illegal to hold a device while driving, and that applies if you're stopped at lights or in traffic. There are huge consequences – you can receive six penalty points and a £200 fine, and have your licence revoked if you passed your test in the last two years.

Driving barefoot

Some wise words of advice from the RAC: 'while it's not illegal to drive without shoes on, that doesn't mean it's right.' Driving barefoot or with flip flops on is legal, provided you can safely operate the pedals. It's illegal, however, if you don't have proper control of the car and as a result, you put your safety, and the safety of your passengers and other road users, at risk.

Tailgating

Tailgating – where drivers don't leave a big enough gap between their car and the car in front – is an extremely dangerous habit, not to mention illegal. This is because there's a slim chance the driver would stop in time if the other driver applied their brakes suddenly, meaning the likelihood of a crash is high. It's a habit you need to boot – unless you want to land three points on your licence and a £100 fine.

Lane-hogging

Lane-hogging now falls under the 'driving without due care and attention' offence, meaning you could receive three points and a £100 fine. The same offence covers aggressive driving – for instance, cutting people up – not giving way where appropriate, swerving across lanes and using the wrong lane at a roundabout.

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