You Couldn’t Make It Up

How many times have we seen it? People using their mobile phones whilst driving, eating at the wheel – even reading a newspaper in slow moving traffic? But one task that’s currently getting more tarmac time than any other is applying makeup in the rear view mirror.

A recent survey of 4,000 female drivers by women’s motor insurer Diamond announced the shocking statistic when a fifth of female motorists admitted they had applied their make-up on the go. That is 2.7 million of Britain’s 15 million women drivers. Three per cent even admitted causing an accident when distracted by applying cosmetics. Lets just stress the word ‘admitted’ for a second here. Quite an embarrassing confession to make – surely realistic figures are much higher?!

The survey showed that young women, aged between 17 and 21, were found to be the most likely to whip out their make-up bag on the move and therefore most likely to crash their car as a result.

Twenty-seven per cent of 17 to 21 year olds confessed to putting on make-up behind the wheel which compares with just six per cent of women aged 56 or older.

Diamond managing director Sian Lewis said it is “worrying” that so many women put themselves and other road users at risk.

“We all have busy lives but applying your make-up when you’re driving means your full attention is not on the road ahead. Is your mascara more important than yours and other road users’ safety? Even if you’re lucky enough to arrive at your destination safely, you could be charged with careless driving if spotted by the police. Women are generally great at doing more than one thing at once but this is definitely one area where multitasking should not be practiced.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents appealed for women to avoid the potentially deadly distraction and warned it could prove fatal. “It should go without saying that applying make-up while driving is a dangerous thing to do,” said RoSPA’s head of road safety Kevin Clinton.

“Driving requires concentration and even a momentary lapse could turn a near-miss into a serious or even fatal accident. Commonsense says apply make-up before or after driving.”