Drivers who splash pedestrians in their car or beep horns could be fined £1,000

The rules of the road can sometimes be confusing, with misinformation easily spread between motorists.

Many road users would be shocked to find their actions could land them penalty points or a hefty fine.

Confused.com has put together a list of the most common driving myths floating around, and then debunked them with what the rules of the road actually say.

Read more of the top stories from across Cheshire here.

Drivers might be surprised to hear that dressing up in a Christmas outfit could land you a £5,000 fine and nine points on your licence, or that honking your horn can lead to a fine of between £30 to £1,000.

Meanwhile, you might not know that not wearing a seat belt is acceptable under some circumstances, such as when you’re reversing or if you’re in a police, fire or rescue vehicle.

Take a look at five of the biggest driving myths debunked by the experts at Confused.com.

Is it illegal to splash pedestrians while driving?

Splashing a pedestrian, both intentionally and even accidentally, is an offence under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

This states: “If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he (sic) is guilty of an offence.”

Confused.com says that, if you’re caught, you could be hit with a £5,000 fine and three points on your licence.

Is it illegal to honk your horn if you’re annoyed?

According to The Highway Code, you shouldn’t honk your horn in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30pm and 7am.

Horns are only supposed to be used to alert other drivers to danger, or alert them to your presence.

Using the horn to take out your anger could leave you with a £30 fine, which could go up to £1,000 if taken to court

Confused.com said: “Road rage isn’t a crime in itself. But these actions could be seen as ‘driving without reasonable consideration for other road users’.

“This offence gets you three to nine points on your licence.”

Is it illegal to use your phone in the car when stationary?

A common myth is that drivers are able to use their phone in the car as long as it’s stationary, but this is in fact false.

If you’re engine is on, you’re actually committing an offence.

Confused.com said: “Since 2017, using your mobile phone while driving could land you with six points and a £200 fine.

“And being stationary won’t wash with the courts as a defence.

“If you think you’ll be ok using a phone with headphones or on speakerphone – you could still get stopped and potentially penalised if the police think you were distracted whilst using them.

“The only exception to this is if you’re using your phone to make a contactless payment at a toll road or drive-through restaurant.”

Is it illegal to not wear a seat belt?

It’s the first thing everyone should do when they get into a car, put on their seat belt.

However, there are actually some occasions where it’s ok to not wear a seat belt, according to Confused.com, such as when you’re reversing or if you’re in a police, fire or rescue vehicle.

The full list can be checked on the Gov.uk, but outside these specific circumstances, the driver and passengers must be properly restrained.

Not only is it dangerous to not wear a seat belt, but it could also land you a fine of up to £500.

Could I get fined for driving in a Christmas outfit?

If the country remains free of lockdown restrictions this festive season, then those attending Christmas parties dressed as Santa will need to take care.

Confused.com say that if your outfit affects your ability to drive, you could end up with a £5,000 fine and nine points on your licence.

Rule 97 of the Highway Code states: “Before setting off, you should ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”

Anyone wearing thick Santa boots or even a pair of heels may want to take care to ensure they don’t affect any part of their driving.

Cheshire Live – Cheshire