The Most Reckless Driver Distractions
It’s well documented that distracted driving is now a factor in slightly over half of all traffic accidents in the U.S. The usual culprits here are cell phone calling and texting, but motoring mishaps can also be accredited to more mundane behavior like yelling at the kids, changing radio stations, singing along to a favorite song and munching on a Big Mac.
But apparently those aren’t the only diversions in which drivers are engaging these days. A survey conducted for Erie Insurance in Erie, Penn. found some motorists admitting to some truly indefensible activities behind the wheel, including that new scourge of Western Civilization, taking selfies with their cell phones.
In all the study found that 42 percent of all drivers admit to engaging in distracted driving behaviors, with 20 percent sheepishly admitting to such activities only when they’re alone in the vehicle.
“A distraction is anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their mind off their primary task of driving safely,” says Doug Smith, senior vice president of personal lines at Erie Insurance. “Our survey found drivers unfortunately are engaging in a wide range of distracting and potentially dangerous behaviors.”
How dangerous? You be the judge. In the spirit of Distracted Driving Month, here are a few of the oddest activities the motorists queried in Erie’s survey admitted to performing in traffic. We’ll probably see this come up on a future segment of Family Feud. In the meantime, survey says…
1. Romantic encounter/PDA: 15 percent
There’s nothing wrong with a little smooch time, as long as it’s at a stoplight or while parked. It’s difficult to keep both eyes planted on the road when one’s lips are planted on another’s (or thereabouts). Male drivers are 60 percent more likely than females to have done this—or are at least more boastful about it (19 percent versus 12 percent).
2. Combing/styling hair: 15 percent
At least you’ll make a well-groomed corpse.
3. Changing clothes: 9 percent
Obviously one would need to engage the cruise control before swapping out anything below the waist.
4. Putting on make-up: 8 Percent
Additionally, one percent of drivers surveyed – not surprisingly all were women – admit to curling their eyelashes while driving. Many cars already lock out the programming functions on their navigation systems while the vehicle is moving, and perhaps they should do the same with driver’s-side vanity mirrors.
5. Brushing/flossing teeth: 4 percent
Pearly whites, meet the Pearly Gates. This redoubtable practice is most common among motorists age 55-64 (6 percent) and least prevalent among 35-44 year olds for whom chewing gum and hard candy likely remain dietary staples.
6. Taking selfies: 4 percent
Enough already. You’re driving – we get it.
7. Changing drivers: 3 percent
If you’re coordinated enough to pull this off safely, maybe you should be performing with Cirque du Soiel.
8. Going to the bathroom: 3 percent
All together now – ewwwww. Again not surprisingly, this is most common among men (5 percent), though one percent of the women surveyed admitted to reliving themselves behind the wheel, which sounds disgusting.
The Fine Print: The online survey was conducted on behalf of Erie Insurance by Harris Poll in late February online among 1,915 adults 18 and older.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.