Four little-known driving errors that could cost you a small fortune

Some of these errors can result in PCNs, others can result in criminal prosecution
Some of these errors can result in PCNs, others can result in criminal prosecution -Credit:Stoke Sentinel

Experts have issued an urgent warning to motorists across the UK over four little-known driving errors which could land them on the wrong side of the law.

More than 40 million people hold a driving license across Great Britain, and while a recent survey showed that 69 per cent of motorists are confident on their Highway Code knowledge, the remaining 31 per cent could be putting themselves and others at risk.

The Compare the Market study highlighted that there are a number of errors in particular that could lead to harsh penalties and fines for drivers. Here, Chronicle Live breaks them down.

1) Flashing your headlights -

The Mirror reports that 46 per cent of those surveyed were unaware that they can be fined for flashing their headlights to warn other motorists of a police presence. Rule 110 of the Highway Code stipulates that drivers should only use their headlights to make them aware that they are there - so using them to warn someone of an upcoming speed trap could be in breach of Section 87 of the Police Act 1997.

Motorists could be slapped with fines of up to £1,000 for doing so.

2) Driving through bus lanes -

Motorists also seem to be unaware that they cannot drive through a bus lane during its period of operation. This is a breach of rule 141 of the Highway Code, and people can be given a £160 fine for doing so in London, and a £80 fine in other parts of the country.

3) Not declaring medical issues -

Drivers could also be penalised with £1,000 fines for failing to inform the DVLA of certain health conditions which could impact their driving. If they are involved in or cause an accident due to their condition, they can be prosecuted criminally also. Drivers who have anxiety must let the DVLA know if it affects their ability to drive safely, but 85 per cent of the UK's motorists are aware of this.

4) Idling -

55 per cent of the UK's drivers are unaware that they can be fined for exiting their vehicle while the engine is still running, regardless of if it is parked up safely. The practice - known as idling - is a breach of rule 123 of the Highway Code, and could result in a person receiving a Penalty Charge Notice of £80.

Julie Daniels from the car insurance team at Compare the Market, said: "All drivers must make sure they are aware of the rules of the road in order to prevent any serious incidents occurring. As well as making the road an unsafe environment for everyone, motorists who break the rules could face some hefty fines and penalties.

"In serious cases, this could even lead to being disqualified from driving or sent to prison. Drivers with penalty points or driving convictions may also experience a big hike in car insurance premiums, as insurance providers deem these drivers as high risk.

"No matter how well you think you know it, I’d recommend all drivers to consistently refresh their knowledge of the Highway Code to ensure they are keeping themselves, and others, safe when behind the wheel."