From aviation to farming, every industry or profession has its myths, and driving is not left behind. As you will find out, there are pieces of information about driving that are anything but accurate. Like bad driving habits, myths too can lead you into serious trouble.
Below are the 10 driving myths you should not believe:
1. Driving Too Slow Is Not Illegal
Drivers are always cautioned against speeding, so it is easy to assume that driving slowly means the driver is cautious and within the law. Wrong. You can actually get a ticket for under speeding. Driving too slowly is actually dangerous.
When you drive too slowly, you become an obstruction on the road. If you must drive slowly, move to the right-hand side or turn left.
2. You Can Fool a Speed Camera
It might have been possible to fool a speed camera in the past, but that’s not likely anymore, thanks to modern technology.
Anyone who assures you that you can get away with speeding as long as it’s dark, raining heavily, or snowing is setting you up for a big surprise. Your number plate will still be accurately recorded.
3. You Can Cheat a Breathalyzer by Hard Blowing
You cannot fool a breathalyzer by blowing hard into it. Some naysayers even claim all you have to do to get a pass from a breathalyzer is use a mouthwash.
4. Using a Hands-Free Headset Is Acceptable
Using a phone while driving is risky because it can distract you from the road, leading to an accident. The way out, however, is not using a hands-free headset. Why? Because in-car distraction goes beyond having nothing in your hands.
You can have your eyes on the road, but if your attention is not with your eyes, it’s no use watching the road. The distraction is talking on the phone, not holding it.
5. You Should Change the Engine Oil Every 3000 Miles
You need to be changing your oil regularly as part of car maintenance. You don’t want your car to stall in the middle of the fast lane one day. But how regularly?
Well, it’s not really after 3000 miles, as is often said. Most modern automobiles can do with oil changes after 7500-10,000 miles or even up to 15000 for some models.
But automobile mechanics will continue brainwashing you into believing that you should do the oil change every 3000 miles. Well, that’s an oil industry scam.
Related to this is another myth that you also need to change air filters and coolant fluid each time you change the oil. Well, it’s a lie meant to rip you off whenever you change the oil.
To know after how long you should change oil, air filters, and coolant fluid, the best guide you should use is the car’s manual.
6. Red Cars Have Higher Insurance Rates
Many believe that red cars have higher insurance rates because they are more likely to get involved in accidents than a car of any other color.
This is a myth because insurance companies consider only the car model, make, its year, your credit history, and your driving history. Anyway, why would a red car have higher insurance rates? What’s so out of place about it?
7. Speeding Is When You Go More Than 10MPH beyond Speed Limit
You might have heard that speeding is when you stretch beyond the indicated speed limit by at least 10MPH. This is not true.
You are speeding if you as much as exceed the set speed limit with as little as 1MPH. Anything over the limit, no matter how slight, can have you pulled over.
8. You really do not need to Change Oil
Some brilliant fellas have gone out of their way to prove that cars do not really require oil adjustments. Do not swallow it hook and sink: it’s a myth.
Your car engine needs oil change at some point, and if you do not change the oil in time, the engine may crash.
Why does your car need new oil? The old oil has residues, so it’s dirty, making it unable to lubricate the engine properly. Without proper lubrication, the engine components gradually wear out, and the result will finally be the malfunctioning of the engine.
9. You Need To Warm Up the Car Engine before Driving Off
We have ourselves mentioned warming the car engine before driving off as one of the best driving habits that help to keep your car in good condition. However, technological advances keep on changing the way we do things. What was a universal truth last year can become a myth today.
Modern, newer cars are designed with a quick engine warmup thermostat that raises the engine temperature to the optimal level within at least five minutes of driving.
However, note that this particular myth becomes the truth if you still drive the traditional cars without the double throw thermostats.
10. Seat Belts and Airbags Only Increase Risks of Injury and/or Death
You have probably come across some driver or passenger who says he never wears a seatbelt because it only increases his risk of injury or death should an accident happen.
However, research has continually shown that seat belts reduce your risk of dying in an accident by 45% while cutting your risk of injury by half. In fact, seat belts are the most effective known safety device for preventing fatal injuries or death in an accident.
Well, some people will also tell you that airbags also increase your chances of injury or death when a car accident occurs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Airbags saved over 8000 lives between 1991-2001. In the same period, only 237 lives were lost in airbag-related injuries. In short, you are better off with an airbag than without.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will automatically survive an accident once you wear a seatbelt and have an airbag. They only enhance your chances. It would be best to still go out of your way to avoid accidents by following the traffic rules.
You should not believe anything you hear in the streets. You better investigate or question when in doubt. Better still, always seek counsel from experts.
We do not teach myths at Pierre Paul Driving School but verified facts about driving and traffic regulations. You can be sure that whatever you learn at our premises is valid.