Driving is a risky activity. According to Brake, the UK’s road safety charity, a moment’s distraction while driving significantly increases the risk of causing a devastating crash. A study estimated that 22% of crashes could be caused by driver distraction. Unfortunately it is a common risk that many drivers take. Common driver distractions include using a mobile phone, eating and preening.
In fact, the array of things people attempt to do whilst in control of a speeding vehicle are both absurd and downright dangerous. Along with the usual culprits, we’ve put together some more bizarre multi-tasking activities people have attempted to carry out whilst driving their car. Here are 15 things you should definitely NOT do while in control of a vehicle, as advised by Mike James who trained with Simply Driving Lessons:
1. Knit or crochet
Well it’s a new one on me, but apparently earlier this year a woman in Russia was filmed crocheting while behind the wheel of a car. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself.
2. Get dressed
You’ll be amazed to hear how many people have been spotted getting changed while driving a vehicle. This one’s scripted, but very funny.
3. Put on make-up or paint your nails
Seriously, we’ve all seen someone applying lipstick whilst stuck at the traffic lights. But driving in the fast lane and applying full make-up? Come on you’ve got to be kidding!
A long commute on the train is the ideal opportunity to catch up on your novel reading, but in the car? You won’t believe this unless you see it for yourself.
5. Eat pasta (or anything else)
We’ve all done it, even if it is only the odd ‘Werther.’ Eating on long journeys is par for the course, though for sensible drivers it involves a service station stop. You won’t believe this woman – she’s scoffing a pasta dinner and driving on the motorway. Unbelievable.
6. Light a pipe or cigarette
Holy smoke, I can’t see.
7. Use your mobile phone
Recent legislation will see penalties for mobile phone use whilst driving get much tougher from 2017. In England Scotland and Wales offenders could receive fines of up to £1,000, as well as 6 months driving ban. Repeat offenders will face a possible prison sentence.
According to a recent report in the Manchester Evening News, Ten drivers an hours were caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel during a police crackdown. A lorry driver who killed a family in a crash this year while he was using his mobile phone has been jailed for 10 years. It’s a chilling indictment of the dangers associated with mobile phone use at the wheel.
Blurred vision is an obvious sequelae to a flurry of tears. If you’re nose starts running then you’ll be hunting for a tissue and that’s a double distraction.
9. Get angry
According to a report in the Daily Mail newspaper earlier this year, driving when angry is even more dangerous than using a phone, and makes you ten times more likely to crash. Eek. Experts claim that angry drivers are more likely to be distracted.
10. Fall asleep
We all know what happened in the film Planes Trains and Automobiles when Del Griffith (played by John Candy) fell asleep at the wheel. Yikes.
11. Get distracted by your kids in the back seat
It’s not hard to imagine why driving with your kids can easily cause a distraction. The temptation to quieten an upset babe, or deal with a sibling argument is a major distraction to any parent’s driving. IAM RoadSmart put driver distractions to the test.
12. Rubberneck an accident
You may have an irresistible urge to take a peek across the other side of the motorway at a traffic incident, but watch out. You could be creating another one.
13. Retrieve anything from anywhere
Hunting the floor blindly for a dropped sweet, the glove compartment for a CD, or your bag for a tissue are all distractions diverting your attention from driving.
14. Floss your teeth
I’ve heard it all now. Who has dental floss in their car?
This Gold Coast Bulletin back in 2015 has the pictures to prove it really happened.
15. Take your hand off the steering wheel
Is she for real? Who’s driving the car?