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10 Illegal things we all do when driving

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People do some strange things while driving their cars and take serious risks, which can lead to injury or death for self and/or others. Many of the thoughtless things people do while driving are dangerous not illegal. However, some of these lead to heavy fines because the police possess discretionary power to determine the meaning of careless driving and dangerous driving.

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I know they're all women - but it's still funny!

Under the umbrella of careless driving fall activities, such as putting on your makeup; adjusting your stereo; eating or drinking; combing your hair; putting on makeup and a variety of other activities you may be seen doing while driving. When you take one or both hands off the steering wheel, you open the door for a nearby police officer to stop you for careless driving.

If a police officer noticed you without both hands on the steering wheel and stops you for careless driving you are stuck with a fine and points. A traffic violation for careless driving can result in a fine for about 200 and up to 6 points on your licence. You then are responsible for reporting your points to your insurance company, which increases the cost of your car insurance. Careless driving is a big deal and it means you were not in total control of your car, which is the real reason for your fine and points.

Dangerous driving is another category, which falls under the umbrella of discretionary decisions of police officers. Such things as speeding, weaving in and out of traffic lanes or not yielding the right of way to pedestrians amount to dangerous driving. These actions can cost you as much as 5000 and up to six months in a prison. If, dangerous driving leads to the death of another person then you could end up in prison for up to fourteen years.

While texting is not a specific offence as yet holding a mobile phone, PDA, GPS or other gadget while driving is an offence and can cost you as much as 60 plus three points on your licence. However, if you electronic device is stationery and your hands are on the steering wheel it is legal to talk on the device while driving. However, a change in this policy is more than likely inevitable in the UK and some other countries.

The thought is people cannot drive and carry on a conversation at the same time. The risk of losing our train of thought, which can cause us to lose control of the car, is a real possibility. Talking on your phone or using your PDA can lead to a fine and loss of points when it results in careless or dangerous driving. Not all drivers have the ability to handle real distractions and keep their eyes and mind focused on driving. Careless driving is the number one cause of car crashes and injuries to pedestrians.

A law many people continue to resist is the car restraint laws, which require the use of seatbelts by everyone riding in a car. There are specific car seat and restraint laws governing infants throughout childhood dependent upon age, height and weight of the children. In spite of these laws, there are many serious injuries and deaths resulting from accidents, in which people ignored the car seat and restraint laws.

If caught without proper car seats and restraints for children and adults the fine is an automatic 30. Those who persist in not using restraints and or car seats can face court and fines of 500 or more.

Estimates state four out of five drivers suffer from excessive stress and take risks while driving their cars. Approximately, 30 million drivers admitted to misdemeanours and unnecessary risks while driving in the UK. Most people blamed this on being late or wanting to avoid being late for work, appointments, meetings, etc. Below are the top ten illegal things drivers do to cause accidents in the UK.

1. Break the speed limit

2. Using handheld mobile phone whilst driving

3. Overtaking another car in a dangerous manner

4. Pressing car horn to get others to speed up and move out of the way

5. Jumping or running a red light

6. Driving the wrong way on a one way street

7. Illegal Parking

8. Parking in parking space reserved for disabled or parent & child

9. Eating and/or drinking while driving

10. Changing clothing while driving a car

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Speeding - we all do it

Some surprising findings from a survey conducted through the online car insurance service swiftcover.com are

5% more men than women drive in a dangerous or aggressive manner

12% more men than women use mobile phones while driving

one out ten men admit changing clothes while driving as opposed to one out of twenty women

71% of men exceed speed limits while only 51% of women exceed speed limits

Among other careless and dangerous actions by drivers is smoking while driving; tailgating; ignoring speed limits; screaming out the window at other drivers; playing loud and raucous music on the radio or tape player; watching DVDs; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving while not sitting in the drivers seat and weaving in and out of traffic causing other drivers to dodge their car. Some drivers speed up to past other cars and then suddenly cut in front of them to get onto an exit motorway.

It is easy understand why there are so many accidents. Men and women suffer from excessive stresses related to work, home, highways and busy streets. If, drivers would take a few minutes to relax before starting the car we could avoid many of the pitfalls associated with driving. Among the ways to help us stay calm while driving are playing soft, relaxing music. Avoid listening to the latest news. Never make calls, text, take calls or read messages while driving. Try keeping activity books, small toys, and electronic games in the back seat for childrens entertainment. This can help you stay calm and keep your mind on the road.