Let’s face it. There are a few driving habits that you do when no one is looking but could make you turn red with embarrassment should you be caught, or even worse, cause an accident. There are few driving habits that you might be doing that you are not even aware are illegal in Australia. We are leaving out the sneaky texting while driving, and crossing when the lights are red. Neither are we going to lambast any states that have the worst drivers. Here are five driving habits you may not be aware of that can have the authorities asking you to step out of your vehicle.
1. Driving with one hand
Keeping one hand on the wheel can get you tangled with the law. Police in Australia can fine anyone driving with one hand on the wheel. Of course, you will not be fined if the only time you are using one hand is when you use the other to shift gears. However, driving down the street with one hand is cruising for a bruising from the hands of the law. The legal way of driving is to have both hands on the steering wheel with your thumbs above the rim of the wheel. If you are caught breaking this rule you could be slapped with $425 and $531, along with 3-4 demerit points. If you have injured your hand and are unable to use both hands it will be best to clear things with your doctor before going behind the wheel which can land you in trouble.
2. Orange does not mean go
You might have a moment where you are driving up to a traffic light that is set on the orange light and think that you can squeeze your way through before it turns red. Driving through an orange traffic light is illegal if it was deemed that you had time to stop. The impatient drive-through can cost you a total of $282 in states such as NSW and Victoria. Some states will charge you $397 and demerit points if the light was red.
3. You could pay for waving goodbye
This might come as shocker, but it is true. If you are found tooting your horn and waving goodbye out the window you will be charged for breaking the law. For your supposedly friendly gesture you could be charged as much as $600 and 3 demerit points in states such as NSW. It could be cheaper in other states, but it's safe to utter your goodbye than to wave or hoot it.
4. Your wheels still roll after seeing a stop sign
This one might not be surprising as it is general knowledge to stop when you see a stop sign. However, you could be charged if your wheels continue to roll after seeing the stop sign. This means even a slight roll after the sign. The aim is to stop before the vehicle reaches the stop sign. This also includes your wheels. If you roll through you could face a fine ranging from $282 - $298 along with 3 demerit points.
5. Distractions that could be deadly
Having your vision distracted for even a split second can cause an accident you didn’t anticipate. This is why it is repeated that you should maintain your attention on the road. However, Australians are still engaging in activities that can change lives for the worse and affect their car insurance drastically. According to Spares Box, the top five dangerous activities that Australians engage in are:
- Eating food (47%)
- Texting while driving (28%)
- Answering calls directly on their ear (27%)
- Smoking (20%)
- Reaching back to deal with a child (19%)
These few moments of distraction have costs thousands of Australians their lives. Abiding by the rules of the roads ensures that you and other commuters arrive alive. Being aware of the effects your driving habits might have on the Australian roads can ensure safer driving which will not only save lives but also save on costs in terms of your car insurance.