10 Weirdly Wonderful Driving Facts

10 things you might not have known from the wonderful world of driving, but just might come in handy one day…

1. Annual trip to Sydney? 

The average driver in the UK drives around 8,000 - 10,000 miles each year. The daily commute, school runs, weekly food shop, days out etc roughly equals the same distance between Nottingham and Sydney!

2. So long waiting…

It won’t come as much of a surprise, but we spend 5 months of our lives waiting at traffic lights!

3. A cheetah could be caught speeding

The cheetah is the fastest land animal on earth, but you already knew that right? Did you know that they can run at over 70mph? So you’d be breaking the motorway speed limit if you were to ever overtake one!

From one speeding ticket to another…

4. World’s first speeding ticket issued for driving at just 8mph

In 1896, Britain’s speed limit was just 2mph and a man had to walk in front of a car waving a red flag to warn pedestrians, who could surely walk faster than the speed limit at the time!

Walter Arnold was chased for 5 miles by a police constable on a bicycle through Paddock Wood, Kent, for driving at four times the speed limit! Once caught he was fined one shilling.

If you were found driving at four times the speed limit today as a minimum you would be looking to receive disqualification from driving or 6 points and 150%-175% of relevant weekly income (capped at £1,000, rising to £2,500 if caught on a motorway).

More fines…

5. £5,000 fine for splashing a pedestrian

Intentionally or not, most of us have driven through a puddle and splashed a near pedestrian at some point, you may even have been that pedestrian yourself. Did you know that for committing such an offence could cost you a hefty £5,000?

Section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states it is illegal to splash someone as it is classed as driving “without reasonable consideration for other persons.”

Now this normally only amounts to a £100 fixed penalty and 3 points, and a good shouting at by the drenched pedestrian, but if you are deemed to be driving in a manner that “amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience, and aggressiveness” then the maximum punishment of a £5,000 fine could be issued.

Crazy that this fine could be more than driving at four times the speed limit huh?! But next time you approach that giant puddle, it might be worth a spare thought for the pedestrians and your wallet!

6. Paying with your phone at a drive-thru is illegal

Paying for goods with Apple Pay and Android Auto has become pretty common place now, but did you know that a drive-thru is one place you shouldn’t?

The law dictates that you cannot use your mobile phone whilst driving, which applies to everything, not just calls and texts, so strictly speaking operating your mobile phone at the drive-thru breaks this law. Something to think about next time you go to pay for your McDonald’s!

7. The inventor of cruise control was blind

Cruise control is one of those added specifications that you either love and use regularly or could happily do without – we’re pretty split in the office too (perhaps Walter Arnold would appreciate the advancement in technology though).

Amazing fact about this driver aid is that its inventor, Ralph Teetor, was not even a driver – he was actually completely blind! His enhanced sense of touch enabled him to become a genius in engineering with an aim to come up with a device that would keep a car at a constant speed and combat his chauffer’s jerky accelerator foot.

‘Speedostat’ was first offered in 1958 by Chrysler, later renamed ‘Cruise Control’.

8. In Slovenia, you must NOT indicate as you approach a roundabout

Instead, you only indicate to show when you are leaving the roundabout. Now some might think this rule exists here too, and maybe even take it one step further and not indicate on exit either… what do you think?

9. If you drive around in a dirty car in Russia, you are committing an offence

Bad news for anyone who hasn’t washed their car in a while! In Russia, you will face an on the spot fine for driving a car that is deemed dirty by traffic police. I best not drive my car in Russia in anytime soon! How about you? 

10. The average person spends over £206,000 on cars in their lifetime

We all know that cars can be expensive to run – insurance, road tax, servicing, parking, never mind fuel cost and any repairs… it all adds up over the years. Good job we save you thousands on your purchase cost at least!

So there you have it, 10 weird and wonderful facts from the driving world! Next time you’re in the car, don’t be like Walter and stick to the speed limit, resist the temptation to splash a pedestrian, and pay by good old cash or card at the drive-thru! 

MSG Summary

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