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The Most Ignored Highway Codes

Added: 12 June 2018

Do you still know the Highway Code? How well do you stick to the Highway Code rules while driving?

According to the DVSA, only 23% of drivers keep their Highway Code knowledge up to date after passing the UK driving test. That means more than three quarters of us ignore at least one of the Highway Code rules at some point.

The Highway Codes that are broken most often

Whether intentionally or not, most drivers will break at least one of the Highway Codes once they have their driving licence. These are some of the most ignored Highway Codes by drivers in the UK. How many of them have you forgotten?

Leaving a running vehicle unattended

How often do you leave your engine running for a minute or two while you drop something off or get something out of the boot? Leaving a running engine unattended isn’t just against the Highway Code, but also against the law in the UK.

Flashing headlights unnecessarily

This is a Highway Code that nearly every driver has ignored (or forgotten!) at some point. When there’s no other way to communicate with other drivers, a quick flash of the headlights to say thank you or to communicate in some way is just as tempting as it is easy. But did you know that flashing your headlights for any reason other than to let another driver know you’re there is breaking the Highway Code?

Crossing the white line

Although many of us will forget at least some of the Highway Code rules after passing our driving tests, every driver knows that you cannot cross a solid white line. There are a few times when this code can be broken - such as to overtake a horse, bicycle or other vehicle travelling under 10 mph - but this rule is often ignored at other times as well.


There are two instances when it’s okay to pass a vehicle on the left: when the other vehicle is turning right or when stuck in congested traffic. Yet this rule is often ignored and we’ve all seen a car undertake another at some point, especially on busy motorways.

Distracted driving

Perhaps one of the most pressing issues we face in driving today is distracted drivers - even though it’s against the Highway Code. It’s something the UK government is attempting to crack down on with measures such as the new driving theory test, but there are more potential distractions than ever thanks to mobile phones, tablets and other entertainment devices  - many of which didn’t exist when the Highway Code was first written.

Driving over painted roundabouts

A painted roundabout - as opposed to a built-up roundabout - is still a roundabout, even if driving round it does feel pointless. Driving over a painted roundabout is against both the Highway Code and the law, and could land you with a Fixed Penalty Notice if you get caught.

Opening doors without checking first

Do you always check to make sure the road is clear before opening your door? Despite the Highway Code stating that you MUST check before opening your car door, this rule is often ignored and is to blame for thousands of accidents every year.

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