A Dangerous Form of Distraction: Applying Makeup Behind the Wheel
Data has emerged as to the immense dangers of an often unrecognized form of distraction: applying makeup while driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than nine people are killed and 1,153 are injured in crashes that involve distracted drivers. Distracted driving is defined as driving while engaging in any other activity that takes your attention away from the road. Distracted driving can greatly increase your risk of being in an accident. Generally, distractions can be broken down into three categories: visual, manual and cognitive. Visual distractions take your eyes off the road, while manual takes your eyes off the wheel. Cognitive distracters pull your mind from the task of driving.
Applying makeup while driving can cause distraction across all three categories, pulling your eyes from the road, hands off the wheel and attention to the task instead of the road. A study released by Diamond, a UK insurance company for women, reveals some alarming information about the application of makeup while driving. The study found that a quarter of all female drivers admit to applying makeup while driving. Of these women, 16 percent have either been involved in an accident or had a near miss. One in ten will take their hands completely off the wheel to apply the makeup, and one in ten apply makeup while the car is moving. The presence of passengers or even children in the car does not seem to affect a woman's choice to put makeup on while driving, as two thirds do so with passengers and a third with children in the vehicle.
Applying Makeup Part of a Greater Issue of Performing Other Tasks While Driving
Applying makeup is just one dangerous distracting behavior that is a part of the overall problem. With our bustling, technology filled lives, more and more drivers engage in other behaviors while driving. Those commuting to work in the mornings sometimes feel rushed and then struggle to get ready. Many drivers admit to checking text messages while on the way to work, brushing their hair, eating breakfast, drinking hot beverages, checking emails and much more, all while driving. When these behaviors are combined with busy rush hour traffic, it is easy to see how serious accidents could occur.
The overwhelming message conveyed by the Diamond study and others like it is to focus on the road and put other distractions aside. Your life is not worth the time saved by attempting to multi-task while driving. Plan ahead and engage completely in the task of driving to protect yourself and others.
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