A recent study has found that applying makeup behind the wheel of a moving car is responsible for over half a million crashes a year worldwide. While specific legislation means you can be given a hefty fine for using your mobile while driving, there is rarely specific legislation to say that applying your makeup can be just as dangerous even though it is equally if not more distracting to the driver.
It is estimated that one in five of us female drivers touch up our makeup while driving and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is now warning us to be more careful and not get out the compact while in a moving car. While many of us have a giggle at motorists in lanes next to us that are trying, haphazardly, to apply their lipstick while driving, it is no laughing matter – three per cent of female motorists have admitted actually causing a crash while applying makeup.
Young women are more likely to fall into this category than older women with only six percent of women over 56 confessing to applying cosmetics while driving. The statistics for the younger women however, is nothing short of frightening with a staggering 27 percent admitting to makeup touch ups on the move. Unfortunately for both groups this number is likely to be significantly higher, with many drivers unwilling to admit any perceived wrongdoing (consider the myriad reasons why motorists might not be entirely truthful in their responses about texting, or drink driving).
The threat of more car accidents has got many road safety campaigners in a ruffle with several internet campaigns having been released in the last year. Unfortunately applying makeup acts as a distraction in more than one way. By taking one or both hands off the wheel to apply your cosmetics, you are immediately at risk by having far less control of the car. By looking in a hand or rear view mirror you lose all vision and primary awareness of the road, even if it is for less than a second. Such lapses ultimately increase the risk of accidents, and many lapses within a short frame of time compounds this risk.
Find out more about this campaign
So how can I make my driving safer? The easiest way to do this is by simply not applying any makeup while the car is moving. The same goes for eating, drinking, or using a phone while driving, yet these seem to be accepted more than not applying cosmetics. In terms of practical solutions either give yourself a few minutes longer to get ready before you leave for your destination, or just wait until you have parked up and then apply your makeup.
Doing it while you are waiting at a junction or traffic lights is still NOT recommended, even though the car may be stationary. Think of how many times you’ve had to beep a distracted driver sitting at a green light. By taking responsibility and not applying your makeup while driving, you could save lives, including your own.
But what if you’re a passenger? You’re much less likely to endanger anyone (unless you’re grabbing the rear view or wing mirror to get a better look), so apply away. It’s just a better idea to wait until you reach your destination to avoid any accident.
Thanks to Steph from Sixt.co.uk for sending in this data. What do you think about applying makeup in a moving vehicle? Have you ever done it?
Image curtesy of: SheKnows.com