As winter descends, so does the season of sneezes and sniffles for private and motor trade drivers nationwide.
Yet, beyond the common cold, there’s a less visible threat on our roads: prescription medications that can potentially land you on the wrong side of the law.
The Hidden Danger of Medications and Driving
Winter ailments often lead to the use of medications like codeine, found in over-the-counter painkillers. What many don’t realise is that these medications can cause drowsiness and impair driving abilities.
Even common prescription drugs can put you at risk if not used vigilantly, potentially leading to severe legal consequences.
It may also be worth calling your private or motor trade insurance provider to check the small print of your policy concerning the use of prescription medications and driving in the event of an accident.
Many policies will not cover a driver if they’ve been in an accident while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which may include even legal prescription varieties.
Lesser-Known Driving Offences
Now that we’ve explored the unexpected risks posed by everyday medications, let’s look at other lesser-known driving offences that many may be unaware of:
Sleeping In Your Car While Intoxicated: It might seem like a safe choice, but sleeping in your car while over the limit can result in fines. The law’s interpretation of being ‘in charge’ is broad, making this a risky move.Flashing Lights to Give Way: While a common courtesy, using headlights to signal others could lead to misinterpretation, especially if it causes an accident. Be cautious when using your headlights for non-emergency purposes.Overtaking at Pedestrian Crossings: Overtaking stationary vehicles at pedestrian crossings can conceal pedestrians, making it illegal and dangerous. Always exercise caution near crosswalks.Letting Animals Out on the Hard Shoulder: Leaving animals out of a broken-down vehicle on the hard shoulder can lead to accidents and charges. Follow the rules and keep them in your car unless in emergencies.Parking on the Wrong Side at Night: Incorrect parking at night can dazzle others and result in accidents. Always park your vehicle properly to avoid obstructing others.Using Mobile Phones as Sat Navs: Using mobile phones as navigation devices are allowed, but they must be fixed to the dashboard. Holding your phone while using navigation apps is illegal.Parking Within 10 Meters of a Junction: Parking too close to a junction hinders other drivers and poses risks. Always park responsibly.Driving on Pavements Without Reason: Parking partially or fully on pavements inconveniences pedestrians and violates road laws. Park legally and ensure safe passage for all road users.Using Horns Late at Night: Blaring horns between 11.30 pm and 7 am in built-up areas is against the law. Be mindful of the noise level to avoid unwanted fines.Speeding in Vans on Single Carriageways: Vans have specific speed limits, especially on single carriageways. Exceeding these limits can result in penalties. Stay aware and adhere to the rules.
Being a responsible private or motor trade driver goes beyond following obvious rules.
Understanding the lesser-known driving offences and being aware of the potential side effects of medications can keep you safe and law-abiding on the roads.
Stay informed, stay vigilant, and drive responsibly. Always check with your insurance broker if there is any doubt.