The most common driving myths debunked – Highway Code, lights and more

People often grow up with misconceptions in their heads about driving etiquette and what is or isn’t legal when it comes to being on the road. However, a new survey saw 2,000 people asked certain statements about driving to see what the five biggest motoring myths are.

Myth: Driving barefoot is illegal – 52 percent

It is not illegal to drive barefoot, but it is the responsibility of the driver to make sure they are in full control of their vehicle at all times.

Driving barefoot does not afford the same braking response as driving in a sturdy shoe.

Other factors, like if they have wet feet, will have a far greater impact on whether they can drive safely, with it always being advised to wear suitable footwear.

Myth: Driving in flip-flops or wellies is banned – 49 percent

Similar to the previous myth, it is not illegal to drive in flip-flops or Wellington boots, as long as the driver is being safe.

Rule 97 of the Highway Code states that motorists should ensure that: “clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”.

Some driving experts advise road users to keep a spare pair of “driving shoes” in the boot so they always have a backup. 

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Myth: The only time someone can enter an active bus lane is to let an emergency vehicle pass – 47 percent

A spokesperson for Seat said motorists can still receive a driving fine if they enter a bus lane to let an ambulance, police car or fire engine pass.

They added: “In fact, there’s a good chance this vehicle will use the bus lane to avoid traffic, so it can be unhelpful if drivers move into it. 

“Should you find yourself in a bus lane, you should always endeavour to exit as soon as possible if it is safe to do so.”

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Myth: Children under 12 have to sit in the backseat – 38 percent

Children under 12 can sit in the front or back of the car. However, if they are in the front of a car in a rearward-facing child car seat, then the passenger airbag must be deactivated.

The correct child seat should also be used for children who are younger than 12 years of age and those under 135cm tall.

Despite the law allowing it, safety experts strongly recommend that children sit in the back seat of a car in the appropriate restraint.

Myth: Illegal to drive at night with interior light on – 37 percent

There is no law to say that driving at night with the interior light on is illegal, even though it is often assumed by drivers and passengers that there is.

While it is legal, if a driver is pulled over and the interior light is deemed to have impaired their vision, they can be charged with careless driving.

The Highway Code does warn against distracting other drivers behind them with shining lights.

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