Many of us to choose to hang air fresheners from our rear-view mirror to improve the ambiance of our car’s interior.
And given a large number of drivers do this, it might seem quite harmless.
But what many don’t realise is that you could inadvertently be breaking the law by hanging an air freshener in your vehicle.
The reason for this is because it’s all too easy for a hanging air freshener to obstruct your vision of the road – the same applies for having stickers on your windows, too.
It is only likely to occur in extreme circumstances, but should you be involved in a collision (regardless of whether you’re at fault or not) and the police notice an air freshener that could obstruct your view, police can penalise you for this.
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The most likely outcome for this is a £100 on-the-spot fine and three points on your driving licence, but if you challenge this penalty in court, you could be hit with a fine going up to £1,000.
This comes from the Road Traffic Act, which states "no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if they are in such a position that they cannot ... have a full view of the road and traffic ahead." This is also reiterated by the Highway Code, too.
The penalties don’t just end here, though, because an insurer may invalidate your insurance and refuse to cover damages for this, while an MOT can be failed for having objects obstructing vision – such as air fresheners.
Rebecca Ashton, head of driver behaviour at road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, told The Sun that drivers “should always try to avoid the driver’s field of vision."
Ashton said: “Anything hanging from the rear-view mirror or anything placed on the windscreen could restrict the driver’s view. The main thing to remember is you should always try to avoid the driver’s field of vision."