This article was a lot of fun to write. I was amazed, amused and honestly horrified at some of the things people have been caught doing while driving. As we’ve covered in a previous article distractions while driving can be hazardous. There are some distractions that can’t be avoided such as an accident on the road, pedestrians behaving badly or a fellow road users reckless driving. But, this list is packed full of completely avoidable and utterly bizarre things people have been caught doing whilst driving.
Topping the list is the age old pastime of knitting. A fairly safe choice of hobby. The only real risk is a random knitting needle accident. Knitting is stereotypically associated with grandma and feels very non-threatening indeed. That is until it is combined with driving. Headlines told of a middle-aged woman in City traffic travelling at speeds of up to 30mph. Video footage shows the dramatic moments the driver manoeuvres the vehicle with the needles in her hands. Knit one, purl one, accelerate, brake. This takes multitasking to a whole new dangerous level.
Yes, you read that right. Changing a nappy while driving may seem like a good idea in the heat of the moment when the eye-watering stench wafts through to the front seat. I feel for you. I do. But, under no circumstances is this a legitimate excuse for changing a nappy and driving at the same time. Pullover, change the nappy and be on your merry way. If you’re running late I’m certain people will be sympathetic of your anecdote when you arrive to explain.
Reading a Book
We’ve all had that obsession with a real page turner that we just can’t put down. But, there really is a time and a place. Even if you’re stuck in traffic taking out your book behind the wheel of a car is not a smart move. You need to concentrate, even if you’re in slow moving traffic. One man was stopped and fined for not paying attention after he was found with a book taped to his steering wheel. How awful would he have felt if he missed a pedestrian crossing in front of him or an animal? All because he just HAD to read one more chapter!? That just won’t wash with anyone, even the most avid book lover. Am I wrong?
Eating a bowl of cereal
Eating while behind the wheel of a car isn’t advised in any situation/ But the odd crisp or mint could be forgiven as long as you don’t take your eyes off the road. But a bowl of cereal…… really? This begs the question were there any hands left for the steering wheel? Probably not. So elbow steering while holding a bowl in one hand and a spoon in the other is quite obviously a terrible idea. What if they needed to swerve around a hazard? Or even steer around a corner? I appreciate that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if you don’t have time before you leave the house you’ll simply have to wait until you reach your destination.
Getting dressed or undressed while driving. I ask you! Thinking of someone struggling to get their head out of a jumper and lifting their T-shirt up in the process. Giving a free show to other road users is amusing. But not only is this a distraction for you, but for other road users too. Imagine your arm gets stuck at a pinnacle time of needing to steer or change gear. Worse, your head gets stuck and your vision is interrupted. Even for a minute, this could be very dangerous. Pull over first for goodness sake.
Ladies, I know a bit of lippy can make all the difference but so can a fatal road traffic accident. Keep your eyes on the road. I’d like to think it was just a bit of lippy but reports state that some people have been caught applying a full face of makeup while driving. I’m impressed with the skill of someone who can master eyeliner at the best of times, let alone while driving too. But, this is so dangerous.
Shaving with an electric razor
It’s not just the ladies putting vanity before safety. Some men have been caught shaving with an electric razor while driving. This is equally ludicrous. What if they nicked themselves and started bleeding? What if their hand slipped and they shaved off half an eyebrow (90’s rapper style)? These aren’t even the most dangerous scenarios! Imagine what could happen if you’re not paying attention and shaving instead of focusing on the road.
It’s a risque topic and I won’t go into detail but several people have been caught driving while engaging in various sexual acts. I don’t even need to explain why this is dangerous.
Feeding a baby a bottle
Considering it is a legal requirement that children are seated in a rear facing car seat while in a moving vehicle this would take some serious yoga moves to carry out. With the bottle in one hand and the wheel in the other, the driver must lean themselves into the back seat and remain in this (almost reverse plank) position for quite a considerable amount of time. The ab work is fantastic but it leaves an awful lot of margin for error which can be fatal.
Exercise with hand weights
Wanting to stay in shape is a great thing but there is a time and a place for your workout. Behind the wheel of a car is not one of them. One hand on the wheel and the other flexing and counting reps might sound like a good idea to help improve upper body strength if you’re short on time. But what about when you need to change gear? What if you encounter a hefty bend? Equally, what about when you need to change arm? Will you have it hanging out of the window? Working out just one arm could leave you looking a bit lopsided. Not as lopsided as being involved in a collision.
This is asking for trouble. Not only is it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. The only reason you might consider drinking an alcoholic beverage while driving would be because you’re already under the influence. No sober person can honestly consider this to be acceptable? It’s not just cans of beer either. Bottles of champagne have been known to be popped and swilled behind the wheel of a car.
Travelling to your destination by car? You simply cannot use this as a time to continue your day-to-day activities. Time spent driving should be focussed on purely that. If you want the freedom to be able to apply make-up, eat breakfast, change nappies or read a book while travelling then our suggestion is to take a bus or train. Keep yourself and other road users safe.