A surprising number of motorists across the UK could be unknowingly breaking the law, risking hefty fines and points in the process - a new study has revealed.

Over half (52 per cent) of British drivers are unaware that road rage, including swearing and displaying rude or offensive gestures to other drivers, is a crime and can result in potential fines of up to £1,000.

It’s estimated that over two fifths (43 per cent) of drivers have been victims of road rage. 

The study2, conducted by CarParts4Less, also found that a similar number (54 per cent) did not know that playing loud music deemed to be alarming, distressing or annoying can result in a £100 fine, a police caution and even the car being seized if the offences continue. 

Over two in five (43 per cent) were unaware that splashing a pedestrian when driving through a puddle could result in three points and a £100 fixed penalty notice, whilst a third (32 per cent) did not know that using your smartphone as a sat nav, without hands-free access, could be punishable with six points and a £200 fine. 

Elsewhere, the study found that older generations were more likely to be aware that swearing at other drivers is an offence than younger generations. Only 41 per cent of 18-24-year-olds were aware, compared to 56 per cent of over 65s. 

These are the road rules British drivers are least aware of: 

  1. 54 per cent were unaware that playing music too loud could result in a £100 fine. You could even have your car seized if you continue to offend.
  2. 52 per cent of drivers were unaware they could be fined up to £1,000 for swearing at other drivers. 
  3. 43 per cent of motorists didn’t know that it’s illegal to splash a pedestrian. Doing so intentionally could result in three points and a £100 fine.
  4. 32 per cent didn’t know that using your smartphone as a sat-nav, without hands-free access, could result in a £200 fine and six points. 
  5. 24 per cent of drivers didn’t know that driving with dirty number plates is an offence, with fines of up to £1,000. 


What have those who carried out the study said?

A spokesperson for CarParts4Less said: “It’s not uncommon for drivers to develop bad habits over time and while most people will swear out of frustration or play their music loud, it’s important to be aware that this behaviour can land you in trouble if it goes too far. 

“We advise that all motorists stay up to date with the laws of the road to avoid any unnecessary penalty points or hefty fines.

"Make sure your smartphone is correctly secured if using it as a sat-nav, be careful when driving through puddles and most importantly, be kind and considerate to other road users.”