Top 5 Driving Myths in Northern Ireland | Paschal O’Hare Personal Injury Solicitors | Belfast - Northern Ireland

Top 5 Driving Myths in Northern Ireland 

Top 5 Driving Myths in Northern Ireland 

We’ve all heard our fair share of driving myths. While some myths seem ridiculous, others are a little more difficult to reject. With so many views floating around, is there a way to distinguish urban myths from the actual law? 

In this blog, we take a close look at some of the more common driving myths, revealing how truth can become conflated with fiction. So get your deerstalker hat and magnifying glass out, because the game's afoot!

Is it illegal to eat and drive?

While it isn’t illegal to eat and drive, there is a good chance that you can be distracted by eating and this could lead to legal trouble. A study conducted by University of Leeds in 2012 suggested that the reaction times of drivers who were eating was 44% slower than usual. If the police believe that you are posing a significant danger, they can pull you over and prosecute you for careless driving. So while it technically isn’t illegal, it is best that you avoid eating while driving. 

Are you banned from using headphones while driving?

While there is no specific law preventing you from using headphones while driving, police can pull you over and fine you if they feel you are distracted. Much like eating and driving, using your headphones while driving isn’t sensible and goes against the Highway Code. Rule 148 of the Highway Code says that you need to concentrate while you’re driving, so all distractions should be avoided.

Are you allowed to drive 10% over the speed limit?

While police typically give drivers some leeway whenever they drive over the speed limit, this isn’t always a guarantee. PSNI have issued guidance to officers, instructing them to deploy a buffer of 10% + 2mph. However, it should be noted that this is guidance and not the law. The simple fact is the once you breach the speed limit, you are breaking the law. The purpose of the speed limit is not to be the set target, but rather the maximum speed on the road. So make sure you don’t go over the speed limit!  

Do speed cameras have a 10% tolerance?

While there are many driving myths, the myth that speed cameras in Northern Ireland have a speed tolerance is true. Recent research conducted by Auto Express proves that speed cameras in Northern Ireland have a ‘buffer zone’ in order to improve driver safety. The data shows that speed cameras have a 10% + 2 mph which is identical to the PSNI guidance for their officers. However, it goes without saying that while the buffer zones exist, you shouldn’t ignore the speed limit. 

Does the colour of your car directly impact your insurance premium?

Strangely enough, the myth that your car's colour may impact your insurance does hold some truth. This is because some colours and paints, like custom black matted or metallic paints, will cost the insurer more to replace if they are damaged. However, it is important to note that there are a host of other factors that have a significant impact on your insurance, like your age, driving history, or claims history. So typically there is no need to fixate on the colour of your car.

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