Drivers distracted by more than just texting

So, it is Distracted Driving Month in the US (there’s a month/day for everything these days) and it is timely that the results of a survey on distracted driving has recently been published by Erie Insurance. We should all know by now that distracted driving is the culprit of traffic accidents most of the time; in fact, in the US, slightly over half of all traffic accidents is attributed to distracted driving.

We also know that the devil of distracted driving is the mobile phone, with auto accidents happening because the driver was texting, talking on the phone or checking social media updates. One-third of those surveyed admitted to texting while driving. The survey by Erie has revealed, however, that drivers engage in other rather unusual, eyebrow-raising activities while behind the wheel and on the move. Here we go through the list of said dangerous driving behaviours which will have you thinking “what is the world coming to?!” by the time you reach the end of it:


1. Going to the bathroom – 3%

5% of male drivers and 1% of female drivers admitted to relieving themselves while driving. We can imagine that a guy can quite easily wee into a bottle, but how do the women do it without wetting the seat? Could it be that these women have this?


2. Changing drivers – 3%

We’re presuming that the swapping of driver take place while the car is still moving. If so, they must be quite flexible and coordinated to keep the car in its lane while they are swapping seats. Our next question is why the driver needs a timeout so badly that he/she couldn’t stop the car for five seconds. Maybe he/she badly needed to wee (refer #1 above)?


3. Taking selfies – 4%

Look – one selfie is one too many. STOP. IT.


4. Brushing teeth or flossing – 4%

Just like #1, this also has us wondering why they don’t just spend five minutes in the bathroom before getting into the car. And have these people heard of the wonderful inventions called the chewing gum and breath mints?


5. Putting on makeup – 8%

At least these drivers will make beautiful corpses.


6. Changing clothes – 9%

This is distraction not just for the driver, but also for other motorists passing by. For instance, THIS could happen:


7. Combing or styling hair – 15%

Your crowning glory could become the crown of a gory head instead, when your face gets bashed into the steering wheel when you crash.


8. Romantic encounter or Public Display of Affection – 15%

Well, 19% of the male drivers surveyed confessed to having “romantic encounters” while in the driver’s seat. We suspect they are implying more than just snogging, but we also suspect that male pride has something to do with that number because only 12% of female drivers admitted the same.


The online survey involved 1,915 adults aged 18 and older. 42% of the respondents admitted to engaging in distracted driving activities, and a very honest 20% confessed that they only do so when they are alone (not surprising, ei? We all do embarrassing things when we are alone *wink wink nudge nudge*).

Doug Smith, a senior vice president from Erie Insurance concluded that: “Our survey found drivers unfortunately are engaging in a wide range of distracting and potentially dangerous behaviors…We hope that our survey will get people talking about the importance of eliminating distracted driving and keeping their focus on the road.”

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