If you thought distracted driving only involved texting or talking on the phone while behind the wheel, you may have to reconsider. Motorists today are engaging in a mind-boggling array of behaviors while driving, and all of them have the potential to cause a serious car accident.
The results of a new survey released by Erie Insurance just in time to mark the month of April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month should make all motorists sit up and take notice. The survey found that while texting and talking on a cell phone are popular distracting behaviors, they are not the only ones. In fact, motorists now have a false sense of security, and seem to engage in very distracting behaviors that seriously increase their risk of an accident. According to the study, out of the drivers surveyed:
� 15% admitted to romantic encounters at the wheel
� 15% admitted to grooming themselves by combing or styling their hair
� 9% changed their clothes while driving
� 4% applied makeup while driving
� 4% took selfies while driving
Other types of distracting behaviors that motorists admitted to engaging in were brushing their teeth (4%) changing drivers (3%) and even going to the bathroom (3%). Less frequent behaviors included putting eye drops in while driving, curling eyelashes, playing the guitar and scratching lottery tickets.
From self-care to romance and entertainment, motorists are engaging in a variety of behaviors dangerous to themselves and others on the roadways. Every one of these activities has the potential to cause an accident, and every driver is aware of the dangers.
In fact, the phenomenon of taking selfies while driving is another trend that increases crash risks. It's hard to tell exactly how many accidents are related to the taking of selfies while driving, but social sites like Instagram are full of pictures of motorists pouting, smiling, and posing while driving.
Every year, approximately 3,000 people are killed in distracted driving accidents. It will take a concerted effort on the part of legislatures, police, driver education institutions and drivers to eliminate auto accidents due to distracted driving.