With so many things to take care of in the mornings, many women juggle a large number of tasks they often have to rush through, which leaves no time to apply makeup while at home. Like these women, you might wait to put on your makeup during your morning commute to work because you simply have no other time to do it.
According to UK-based makeup specialist Debra Robson, a whopping 46% of us admitted to applying makeup while driving to work, most often while sitting at traffic lights or waiting in traffic jams. However, just because this is common behavior doesn’t mean that it’s safe. Anything that distracts you from driving is dangerous and can increase your chances of having an accident. Being distracted even for a few seconds could end up costing you a lot more than that tube of mascara you’re applying or your favorite lipstick.
In 2011, more than 3,300 people died and another 387,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving is any activity that could sidetrack a person’s attention away from the main task of driving. All distractions can cause danger to driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These distractions can include:
- Using a cell phone or Smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Applying makeup while driving falls under the “grooming” activity. Driving while distracted is a fast growing problem across the US, and so far 39 states have now made texting while driving illegal as a result. Applying makeup while driving is similar to texting while driving because both cause you to take your eyes off the road, lose focus while driving, and both can delay your reaction time, which can mean the difference between continuing on your way and getting into an accident.
When you are behind the wheel, it is important to focus 100% and to stay alert. Keeping your eyes on the road and staying focused only on driving will ensure you make it to your destination safely. Even though texting while driving is the only distracted driving activity currently considered illegal, more states are beginning to include all of the above listed activities as unlawful under their distracted driving laws.
Legal Consequences of Distraction
Now, in addition to the normal dangers of driving while distracted, there are legal consequences you could face if you get caught. Depending on where you live, you could get pulled over, ticketed, and fined for applying makeup while driving. For example, in California, applying makeup while driving is considered a moving violation under their driving while distracted law. A ticket can cost anywhere from $159 and up.
Applying makeup while driving could end up costing you annually as well. Having one or more moving violations on your record as well as any accidents can cause your insurance rates to increase drastically. In addition to paying a higher rate for insurance, if you cause an accident, you face the risk of being sued for bodily injury and property damage if someone else is hurt. This doesn’t even include any related court costs, loss of wages if you need to take time off from work, and a host of other problems which can occur if you’re not careful.
The main takeaway here is that there is no better time than now to begin practicing safer driving habits. The risk you run driving while distracted isn’t worth the danger it poses to yourself and others. The injuries and deaths currently caused by distracted driving are 100% preventable. The costs associated with those accidents and injuries are also 100% preventable and that money can instead be spent on the other priorities in your life. So practice the common sense you know you have, and get up ten minutes earlier to apply your makeup before you leave home, or wait until you reach the parking lot at work—it’s always best to be safe than sorry.