Do You Struggle With Driving On Mini-Roundabouts?

Do You Struggle With Driving On Mini Roundabouts

Tips For Mastering Mini-Roundabouts

 

It’s not uncommon for learner drivers to encounter confusion over roundabouts.

The traffic can be fast-moving and at first glance appear to be coming from all directions at once. It’s important to wait until it is your right of way and pull out safely.

However, any driver will know that during peak times of the day when there are high volumes of traffic, spotting the opportunity to do this can be much easier said than done.

But mini roundabouts are a million times easier… surely?!

You’d be forgiven for thinking so, and much of the time you’ll be glad to know that they are. However, sometimes mini roundabouts cause just as much of a struggle and can leave even the most experienced and confident drivers feeling flustered and frustrated.

The trouble with mini-roundabouts is that… well, they’re smaller meaning that they can often only accommodate one vehicle at a time.

As larger roundabouts tend to have several vehicles travelling around them at once, they are often much more free-flowing. Mini-roundabouts, on the other hand, will often require you to wait longer for your right of way and lead to traffic queues.

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Speaking of right of way…

Sometimes there will be a vehicle at each entrance to the roundabout with no-one quite sure whose turn it is to enter.

Mini-roundabouts can be much less forgiving if you misjudge when it is your right of way. While the traffic will be travelling much more slowly than on a larger roundabout, there will be a shorter distance between you entering the roundabout and exiting.

This means there is much less room – if any at all – for either party to ‘get out of the way’ should an error of judgement occur.

So, what should you do?

Keep calm and simply approach the mini-roundabout as you would any other roundabout:

  • Approach slowly
  • Be prepared to give way to traffic approaching from the right
  • Follow your MSPSL rules

Tips for approaching mini-roundabouts during peak traffic times:

  • Use the ‘block off technique’ – if traffic directly to the right of you stops to give way to the traffic on their right this gives you an opportunity to enter the roundabout
  • Sometimes it may be necessary to give a clear hand signal to another driver to indicate their right of way at a busy mini roundabout. It is important to be courteous of other road users.
  • Avoid doing a U-turn at a mini-roundabout, this will be a very tight manoeuvre and will not be expected by other road users, so could cause a collision.

What Is An Intensive Driving Course?

What Is An Intensive Driving Course

Learning to drive is a right of passage for many. Once you’ve passed your driving test, you’re free to travel where you please offering a great sense of independence.

Until then, you have to learn to drive safely.

The standard way to learn is with a registered driving instructor with 1 or 2 hours of lessons taken regularly. Some people only require a few lessons to pass. Others need more.

Not only can you choose to learn over a series of weeks but you can also learn to drive in an intensive course.

With many people trying to schedule their busy lives and fit lessons in, many are looking to these intensive courses to help them learn fast and pass their test swiftly.

What Is An Intensive Course?

Many learner drivers require twenty to forty lessons before they undertake their test. If someone chooses to take one lesson per week, it could take over six months to pass which can frustrate many people.

With an intensive course, many learners take a week or two to be taught and take their test in a quick and easy program. It’s aimed at those who can learn in this way, so it’s not for everyone. It offers a service that can result in faster learning and could cost you less than standard lessons, resulting in you potentially passing your test sooner.

The vehicular teachings are exactly the same, the lessons are just condensed within a few days rather than weeks. Instead of an hour or two a week, you spend five hours a day for a week or two, in a concentrated way of learning, until you feel ready to take your test.

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You’ll work your way through the standard format of learning the highway code, learning the controls of the car and how to navigate the UK roads. Like a standard lesson, you’ll learn one to one with an experienced driving instructor, who works with you through your blocked time. Once you’ve completed your allocated lessons and feel ready, most driving schools arrange for a test shortly after completion of your course.

You can normally choose between learning in your local area, or travel to a driving centre that facilitates these intensive courses. Make sure to pick which is the most convenient option for you and offers you the best learning experience.

Because you are fully submerged in this learning environment for long periods of time, you are less likely to forget instructions, making it easier to build your knowledge up.

Many companies offer package pricing for an intensive driving course, meaning it could also work out cheaper for the learner. This may mean you forking out the full cost before learning but, on average, you’ll end up paying less than if you followed the standard lesson structure.

A big perk of an intensive course is being able to fast track your driving test, so once you’ve learnt everything and it’s fresh in your mind, you can go on to take it soon after.

This intensive environment isn’t for everyone, but for those who take to it, it can be a quick and convenient way of learning to drive.

How Many Driving Lessons Will You Need?

How Many Driving Lessons Will You Need

Everyone wants to pass their driving test as soon as possible. So, naturally, a common question learners ask is – how many lessons will I actually need before I can take my test?

The answer is not a simple one. The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) recommends that you have at least 44 hours of professional driving lessons before you put in for your driving test. Remember, however, that this is just an average suggested figure. You may need more, you may need less – it depends on you.

What factors impact the number of lessons I’ll require?

There are many things you have to consider, all of which will have an impact on the number of lessons that will be necessary before your instructor thinks you’re ready to take your test.

Your age

Statistics show that younger drivers have been proven to need fewer lessons on average than older drivers. It’s suggested by the DSA that for every year you age, two hours are added onto the number of lessons that are recommended before you go for your test, so start early.

Lesson frequency

It stands to reason that the more often you drive, the quicker you’ll learn. You should be aiming for between two and four hours of professional driving lessons each week, to ensure continuity of what you’re learning. Try and book two hour lessons as often as you can, to help learn faster.

Private lessons

In addition to professional lessons, it’s recommended by the DSA that you have roughly twenty two hours of private lessons. Remember – anyone who takes you has to have a reasonable vehicle, be over twenty one years old, hold a full driving licence for more than three years, and display L plates.

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Your style

We all learn differently, and the way you learn can impact the number of lessons you need. Whether you’re a more visual/physical learner or theoretical learner – it’s important you find the right instructor for you. They need to be able to teach you in a way that you can understand quickly.

The money

Owning and running a car isn’t cheap, and nor is learning to drive one. Invest as much as you can comfortably afford into your lessons, to keep them as regular as possible. Enquire about block advanced bookings, as some driving schools offer cheaper rates. If you’re a student, you may be entitled to further discounts.

Your instructor

Not all driving instructors are equal. It might take a few different tries before you find someone you really gel with – never just settle when it doesn’t feel right. Lessons are expensive, and getting your licence means you need to learn properly. Be prepared to be picky, and find the right instructor for you.

Choosing your instructor

It’s so important you take the time to find the right instructor for you. A professional, reliable, and experienced instructor will be able to give you the necessary guidance to make sure you continue learning in a consistent way – week after week. Keep an eye out for either a pink or green badge, which should be clearly displayed on their car.

Green means they’re a fully qualified instructor, and have passed each of the three DVSA exams. Pink means they are not yet fully qualified, and are still undergoing training.

A pink badge instructor isn’t necessarily worse. Their inexperience may make their lessons cheaper, and the fact they’re still learning may make them better inclined to help you learn. A driving instructor with a green badge who is bored and full of bad habits is never preferable to a pink badged instructor hungry to improve their skills.

Getting an assessment lesson

Many instructors offer what’s called an “assessment lesson” – which is often cheaper than a normal lesson. Think of it as a “getting to know you” session for both you and your instructor. They can determine your level of experience, and plan their proposed lesson plan accordingly. You can ask about their experience, and see if their teaching style matches the way you learn best. All driving instructors need good communication skills.

There is no defined answer as to how many driving lessons you’ll need – the only consistent thing to know is that you should never rush. Be patient enough to wait until you’re actually ready to be sure you pass your test.

Top Tips For After You’ve Passed Your Driving Test

Top Tips For After Youve Passed Your Driving Test

There’s no feeling quite like that of being told you’ve passed your driving test. After your practice, hard work and countless lessons you’re now the holder of a full driving licence! The excitement of passing can sometimes lead us to forget some important things, however.

That’s why we’ve made a list of some tips to remember after you’ve passed your driving test.

Don’t buy the first car you see

It might be tempting to buy the first car you see and fall in love with. Your first car is always an exciting purchase and it might seem like the best idea in the world to buy a cheap car from your friend or local garage. However, there are a few things to consider before buying a car.

The person selling you the car will tell you everything you want to hear, but if you don’t have a lot of knowledge about cars it’s definitely worth bringing someone along who does. Be aware that used cars were sold on for a reason, and sometimes those reasons are mechanical. Ask the seller for a vehicle check and history and take it for a test drive before agreeing to buy it.

Get proper insurance

While you were learning how to drive, you were either covered as a named driver under your instructor’s insurance policy, or on your parents’. That all changes when you have a car of your own and the cost could be much more than you expected. Before buying a car, get an insurance quote to make sure you can afford it.

Before you drive anything on your own, you have to have a valid insurance policy or you’re breaking the law. The law is there for a reason and if you break it there could be serious repercussions. Double check your insurance policy and tell your insurers that you have a full licence now and want to drive different cars.

P Plates

Get P Plates

There is no legal requirement for you to display P-Plates on your car when you’ve passed your driving test, but it is a good idea. This green plate shows other drivers that you’ve just passed your test and you’re new to driving. By displaying the plate, it will give you a bit more time in traffic if you stall the engine or are slow to take off at traffic lights. If you’re a nervous driver, they’re a good idea to get because other drivers will be a bit more patient with you.

Drive alone

As a learner, you had to drive with someone supervising you at all times. When you pass your test, you can immediately start to drive on your own without passengers. While it might have been frustrating at times to have to have someone with you in the car, there was someone there to help if you got into a tricky situation.

Driving on your own is something you need to do and get used to as soon as you pass your driving test. For the first few times you drive alone, really use the opportunity to get used to the car. Try different parking manoeuvres to ensure you know how to handle the car. It is also a good idea to learn about the engine and how to change the tyres.

As a driver, it’s up to you to understand where the windscreen wiper wash goes, how to change your tyre and how to perform certain safety checks. These are your responsibility, so learn how to do them as soon as you can.

Buy some in-car essentials

Following on from the last point, it’s crucial to have a certain number of things available to you in your car at all times. Having de-icer is a great idea, along with jump leads, a petrol can and spare tyre and jack. While most cars come with a spare tyre, some smaller or older models don’t. Make sure you have these items before taking off, because you never know when you might need them!

Stay aware of regulations

The rules of the road still apply once you’ve passed your driving test. The skills you were taught by your driving instructor during your lessons are all applicable to fully licensed drivers. It’s important to remember that it’s illegal to use your phone at all times when driving, including when you’re stopped at traffic lights or stuck in traffic. Make sure you follow the rules of the road when it comes to phone and sat-nav usage, because it’s not worth getting penalty points!

Should I Get A Black Box? – The Pros And Cons

Should I get a black box

If you are a learner driver or have just passed your test, then finding reasonably priced car insurance can seem like a real challenge.

For many new drivers, a black box insurance deal may be a more affordable option, and the high cost of car insurance for new drivers means that many decide a black box will save them money.

However, your black box will come with some restrictions, fees and penalties which may mean that your insurance is actually more expensive than a traditional policy.

We look at the pros and cons of getting a black box, so you can see whether this is the best choice for you.

What is a black box?

A black box is a small device which is installed in your car to monitor your driving. Black box insurance, also known as telematics insurance, is a way of insuring your vehicle based on your driving behaviour. There are a number of different things that a black box will record, including location, mileage, braking, speed, acceleration, when you drive and how regularly you drive.

Benefits of black box insurance

There are several benefits to having a black box insurance policy, including

– Cheaper insurance

This is perhaps the most important benefit of a black box. Black boxes can save you as much as £500 a year, and for new drivers who are struggling with high insurance costs, this can be a huge factor.

You may also get rewards from your insurer if you are driving well, safely, or you have low mileage.

If you have driven well, according to the black box, then you might get significant reductions on how much your car insurance costs. Some insurers also offer ‘bonus miles’ or cashback.

 

-Monitor your driving

 

Most black box insurance policies also have a smartphone app where you can track your driving, or you can access your black box information online. This can be a handy tool for learner and new drivers, highlighting the areas you need to work on in your driving. You can share this information with your driving instructor or try and work on specific areas before your test. Having a clear picture of how you drive can be a real advantage.

– Evidence in an accident

Another surprising benefit of black boxes is that if you get into an accident, the black box can be used as evidence. It can prove you were driving at the correct speed limit or whose fault the accident was.

– Improve your driving

In many cases, black boxes can be used to improve your driving, and safe driving gives you real rewards.

Things like heavy braking and driving above the speed limit are monitored and discouraged, reducing your score and increasing your costs.

Safe driving is rewarded, and many drivers actively try and improve their score to lower their insurance costs.

– Track your car

In the unlikely event that you lose your car or it is stolen, you can use your vehicle’s black box to locate it.

Disadvantages of black box insurance

 

– ‘Bad driving’ can mean you pay more

As mentioned earlier, black box insurance is designed to encourage good driving and penalise bad driving.

However, as any learner driver will know, there are plenty of grey areas. There are several driving practices that a black box will discourage, and if your black box says that you have a low score, you may incur penalties.

– Curfews

Some black box insurance policies won’t allow the driver to drive at night or during certain hours, like 9pm-5am. Different insurers have different curfew hours, so if you work late or early, a black box might not be appropriate for you. Your car is still insured during those times, but it might incur a penalty.

– Penalties for area

Another thing to consider is where you live. Some black box policies penalise you for driving on ‘unsafe’ roads, and if you live somewhere where this is inevitable, it will negatively impact your driving score.

– Hidden fees

It is always important to check what fees are added to your insurance policy. For example, some insurers charge around £100 to install the black box in a new car. Some companies charge if you change your car, some charge to disconnect the black box after your term is up and some charge to remove the device from your vehicle. Read the fine print and make sure you don’t end up paying extra costs.

– Frequent driving

For frequent drivers, a black box may work out more expensive, or the money you save isn’t worth the inconvenience. Black box insurance encourages low mileage, so if you drive a lot, if you go on long journeys or if you have to regularly drive during busy times you might end up paying more.

How To Stop Stalling Your Car On A Driving Test

Stop Stalling Your Car On A Driving Test

Taking your driving test is a stressful occasion – there’s probably nothing worse than having someone watch you intently, marking you, as you struggle to remember the ins and outs of the Highway Code.

Stalling your car is something that, at some point, everyone has probably done.

It’s embarrassing and restarting your car with a queue of other drivers behind you potentially makes you feel all the more anxious and less likely to get going straight away.

Add a driving test to the mix and you may find yourself panicking as you struggle to restart the car.

What causes your car to stall?

In manual cars, where a clutch is involved, driver error is normally the main cause of stalling – releasing the clutch too early or forgetting to apply the clutch when coming to a standstill, for example, are things that could result in you stalling.

When you’re new to driving, finding the car’s biting point can be difficult and doing it too quickly can result in the two plates that comprise the clutch crashing together – it is at this point that you stall your car.

Understanding your car and its biting point, particularly on different starting points, can give you a fighting chance of completing your test stall-free.

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How to stop stalling your car

If your driving test is nearing ever closer and you’re no closer to having a stall-free drive, then there are a few things that you can do to reduce your chances of stalling during the test itself.

When starting the car, some driving instructors use the following technique to help their students prevent stalling the car when setting off.

Settle yourself down into the car, seatbelt buckled and ready to go, start the engine, handbrake on.

Start off by depressing the clutch fully and put your car into first gear.

When this is done, slowly and gently press down your accelerator, find your clutch’s biting point and allow the clutch to lift very slowly until you hear your engine’s revs lower.

Slowly release the handbrake to get your car moving again and lift the clutch to allow your car to gain speed and accelerate.

Do this slowly, until the clutch is fully raised.

If, for whatever reason, you stall in the middle of your test – stopping for traffic lights, for example – this is the method you should use to restart your car.

Remember to put on the handbrake and switch the engine back on – the calmer you are, the more quickly you will get the car moving again and the less likely it will be that you fail your test.

Getting stressed out and struggling to restart your car could mean that you miss the light change, as well as upsetting the drivers behind you – ultimately it is this that could lead to a failed test.

If you feel your car start to quake or judder as you are slowing down, then you can often save yourself from stalling by putting your clutch and brake down.

Mastering techniques to stop yourself from stalling ahead of your test can make you feel much more confident during the test itself – where you’ll be given the chance to concentrate on performing well, without worrying about what your feet need to be doing and where you need to be pushing down and when.

 

What should I do if I stall my car during my driving test?

If you stall during a test, the obvious thing is not to panic. This is easier said than done, but your response to this episode of stalling could determine whether or not you pass your test.

Stalling your car during your driving test is not automatically a fail, contrary to popular belief – it is often how you recover from it that determines whether or not you fail. Your examiner wants to see how well – and how quickly – you recover from the stall.

If you stall at a traffic light, for example, and are able to get the car moving again quickly without an issue, then the chances are that you won’t receive a major, serious fault.

Keeping calm is key – if you lose your cool and start to panic then you’ll be there a lot longer and run the risk of turning the situation into a dangerous one.

Be alert, keep an eye on everything that’s going on around you, check your mirrors and your blind spot – it might not be the stall that fails you, but it could well be the fact that you haven’t safely moved on from the stall.

Everyone stalls at some point in their driving lifetime – don’t let it ruin your test or lead you to make dangerous driving decisions.

Preparing To Drive In Different Weather Conditions

Preparing To Drive In Different Weather Conditions

Being able to drive in different weather conditions is an essential skill for any good learner driver. Weather conditions, especially heavy rain and bright sun, will often take even the most experienced drivers by surprise. Below we have put together an essential guide to driving in different weather conditions to help students just like you.

Driving in foggy conditions

When we talk about bad weather, we typically think of snow and rain; however, there are a lot of other weather conditions that can cause difficulty when driving. In fact, fog is probably one of the most dangerous and difficult conditions to drive in and requires a lot of care and attention.

Firstly, you should take some time to prepare your vehicle for the journey. In foggy conditions this should include ensuring that your windows are de-misted and that you are familiar with the different headlights in your vehicle.

During fog, the most appropriate headlights to use are your fog lights (often referred to as low beam) rather than your full beam; this is because your full beam can actually reflect back against the fog and cause a glare.

When visibility drops to below 100m, The Highway Code states you must use your headlights. As with all adverse weather conditions you should slow down and increase the stopping distance between yourself and the car in front of you.

Special tip: Watch out for patches of fog. When fog is patchy it can often appear as if the fog has cleared and you can see again, only to reappear again and take you by surprise.

You can combat this by maintaining a reduced speed until you are sure the fog has cleared.

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Preparing to drive on snow and ice

Roads covered with ice and snow can be very hazardous. When driving in these conditions, you should exercise caution and maintain a low speed at all times.

When preparing your vehicle, ensure that your windows are de-misted, you have your low beam lights turned on and that you have switched on your window wipers to the appropriate setting.

It is also important to ensure that your wiper fluid is topped up, as snowfall can leave marks on your windscreen which can cause problems with visibility.

Melting snow can act as a lubricant on the road and icy surfaces will make your vehicle difficult to manoeuvre. When braking, it is essential to use them gradually and slowly.

It can feel like an instinct to brake harshly in order to keep control of your vehicle, but this will actually cause you to further loose control and skid.

When turning, you should follow the same procedure – moving gradually and slowly at all times. The key to remaining safe during snow and ice is to remain calm and steady!

Tips for driving when it’s raining

By following simple measures such as reducing your speed and leaving more distance between other vehicles, driving in the rain will quickly become second nature to new drivers. As with all adverse weather conditions, ensure that you once again take the time to prepare your vehicle.

When driving in rain, this will usually include ensuring that your car windows are de-misted and that your wipers are set to the appropriate speed.

The most important thing to remember when driving in the rain is that your stopping time will increase on wet ground.

You should leave at least four seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. If the rain is distorting your view, you may need to turn on your dipped headlights. If you have severely reduced visibility you should find a safe place to pull over and wait for the rainfall to slow or reduce.

Driving when it’s sunny

As we usually welcome bright sunshine with open arms, we often overlook how this can impact driving conditions.

However, just like extremely cold conditions, extreme amounts of sunshine can also be something a driver needs to prepare for. It is very important that your windows are clean during sunshine; the glare from the sun can reflect from dirt on your window and make it extremely difficult to see.

When driving, wear dark sunglasses and use your sun visor in order to reduce the glare as much as possible.

Also remember that vehicles left in the sun can become particularly hot to touch, so exercise caution when touching your steering wheel or seat belt.

Preparing to drive in different weather conditions can be made a lot easier by taking the appropriate precautions. The most important think to remember is to take the time to prepare your vehicle and reduce your speed.

What’s The Difference Between Zebra, Puffin And Pelican Crossings

Zebra Crossing A Road

A common problem for new motorists can be how to recognise the different types of crossings in use on UK roads. Sometimes, when we’re driving it can be easy to momentarily panic while we rack our brains as to how we should react when faced with each one so it’s essential you’re familiar with the rules.

The three most common types of road crossings we will encounter when driving are the Zebra crossing, the Pelican crossing and the Puffin crossing. Even if you’ve watched hours of David Attenborough documentaries, it can still be difficult to distinguish each one and understand why they’re named after each animal.

Zebra Crossing

The Zebra crossing is the easiest to recognise because it consists of black and white stripes that form a path across the road. Zebra crossings also have a flashing yellow Belisha beacon at either side of the carriageway.

Zebra Crossing

A fun fact, the Belisha beacon is named after Leslie Hore-Belisha who was the Minister of Transport responsible for them being introduced in the 1930s.

Pedestrians have priority at Zebra crossings so you must stop and let them cross. It’s important that you recognise a Zebra crossing when approaching it and scan the pavement for anyone waiting to use it. It is expected that pedestrians do not cross until they’re sure the driver has spotted them, though this doesn’t always happen.

You should use a mirror, signal, manoeuvre technique when approaching and stop before the dotted white line. Zebra crossings have white zigzag lines on their approach and you must not park or overtake in this zone.

Pelican Crossings

It’s helpful to remember that Pelican is short for Pedestrian Light Controlled Crossing. This will help you remember that these types of crossing are operated by the press of a button on the side of the road. Approaching vehicles are halted by traffic lights and pedestrians are notified to cross by a visible ‘green man’ displayed opposite and an audible signal.

Pelican Crossings

When the red traffic light shows, you must stop. When the traffic light displays a continuous illuminated amber one you must be prepared to stop. When a flashing amber light is displayed you need to give way to any pedestrians still using the crossing and when it turns green you can proceed but always check for anyone in the way.

Puffin Crossings

Puffin crossings are identical to Pelican crossings but they’re a little smarter. Puffin stands for Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent crossing because they’re fitted with sensors which can tell when the crossing is clear or if there are pedestrians taking a little while to cross the road.

Puffin Crossings

Note that on Puffin crossings, the signal to tell pedestrians when to cross is beside them and not opposite. You should apply the same principles when approaching a Puffin crossing as you do the Pelican crossing. Look out for anyone at the side of the road when approaching, apply your mirror, signal, manoeuvre routine and prepare to stop. Puffin crossings do not use the flashing amber traffic light.

Using A Phone Or A Sat Nav When Driving

Technology has become a huge part of everyday life and even when you’re driving, it can be useful if you need to find your route or speak to someone at work or at home.

Yet your focus must always be on driving safely, and so there are a few laws that you need to be aware of when using a phone or a sat nav while behind the wheel.

The Law On Phones And Sat Navs

It is illegal to hold a phone or a sat nav while you’re driving or riding on a motorcycle. This doesn’t mean you can’t use them of course, but you must be able to do so hands-free.

For phones, this may include a Bluetooth headset or voice commands, while you’ll need a dashboard or windscreen mount for any tech, unless you’ve got sat-nav built into your car.

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What’s vital is that any device doesn’t block your view of the road. And you can’t allow yourself to get distracted either – the law states that you must be in full control of your vehicle at all times, and you can be prosecuted if the police stop you and believe you’re not focused on the road.

The law applies at all times when you’re driving, even when you’re queuing in traffic or you’re stopped at a red light.

As tempting as it is to quickly check that text, you need to wait until you’ve safely parked in an appropriate space.

The only time the law does not apply is if you need to dial 999 or 112 in an emergency and it isn’t safe or practical to stop.

The Penalties Available

If your sat nav or phone is blocking your view of the road, or you don’t have complete control of your vehicle, you can be given thee points on your license and you could be taken to court.

If you use your phone or sat nav in your hand, you could get six points and a £200 fine.

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Not only that, but if you only passed your driving test within the last two years, you’ll lose your license.

The penalties are hefty, but these pale in significance to the tragedies you could cause if you drive while you aren’t fully paying attention.

It’s never worth the risk, so always follow the law with regards using sat navs and phones while you’re driving.

Legal Obligations Of Any Driver

Legal Obligations Of Any Driver

There are several legal obligations and things to consider before you drive any car or motorbike in the UK. Before making any attempt to drive, you should have a valid driving licence and your vehicle should be registered, insured, and taxed, and also possess a valid MOT.

Legal obligations of UK drivers

Once you meet all the above requirements, legal obligations before driving your vehicle on UK roads include:

  • you must be at least the minimum driving or motorcycle riding age
  • you should have the right kind of driving licence
  • your eyesight should be good enough to meet minimum sight rules

If you are a learner driver, you should also:

  • be constantly supervised by a driver at all times you drive on UK roads, unless you are riding a motorbike
  • ensure “L” plates are prominently displayed at the front and rear of your vehicle. In Wales, these are “D” plates

Legal requirements for UK vehicles

Any vehicle which is to be driven on UK roads should:

  • hold a registration document to prove it is registered with DVLA
  • possess valid vehicle tax
  • be MOTed, unless your vehicle does not require an MOT
  • driver and any passengers should always wear seatbelts
  • be suitable for driving and roadworthy
  • the vehicle should be insured for you to drive, this must be at least third party insurance cover

Further obligations for drivers

If you are stopped by police at any time, you must be able to show the officer your driving licence, insurance cover certificate, and a current MOT certificate, if your vehicle requires one. You will usually be able to take these documents to a local police station within seven days of the police officer’s request.

You should also be aware of the permitted level of blood alcohol content within your locality, as police officers can stop your vehicle if they suspect you are drink driving.

You can be fined up to a maximum of £5,175 and could also lose your licence if you are caught driving while under the influence of alcohol. If you take drugs on a regular basis, you should check the legality of driving on UK roads.

Texting or using a mobile phone while driving is also banned, and phones can only be used when vehicles are parked.

The only exception to this ruling is if you are in an emergency situation and need to call for emergency assistance. Although you are permitted to use hands-free mobiles, there is a risk you could be stopped by police if they feel that use of your hands-free set is causing a driving distraction.

There are lots more legal requirements and driving tips for new drivers, your driving instructor can give you information if you’re unsure about anything.