Body care behind the wheel

Modern-day mobility often means taking advantage of travel time to get some daily tasks done – even though they are clearly unsuitable for drivers. More than 25 percent of drivers work on their styling, clothing and body care behind the wheel. People are particularly prone to engaging in body care while driving to work. While some apply lipstick or shave, others adjust their hairstyle, put on sunscreen or change into comfortable shoes. Altogether 27 percent of the respondents admitted to sometimes doing one or more of these activities while driving.

All distractions behind the wheel contribute more frequently to the likelihood of accidents than previously assumed.

While the looks may be perfect after all these quick glances into the make-up or rearview mirror, the driving is not. "Many of these activities or distractions are not regarded as dangerous, with drivers hardly aware of engaging in them at all. These activities are incidental, they happen in passing. And this is precisely why they are so dangerous", explains Jörg Kubitzki, accident researcher at the AZT. Accident researchers have calculated that such glances can last for up to several seconds. "Applying make-up is a highly demanding task. This means that up to 40% of the driver's attention is lost, increasing the risk of accidents threefold", says Kubitzki.

Touching up one’'s make-up is only one example. The AZT shows that all distractions behind the wheel contribute more frequently to the likelihood of accidents than previously assumed. "Driver distraction is a significant contributory factor in approximately every tenth traffic accident", says Christoph Lauterwasser, CEO of the AZT.

Changing clothes is a favorite with 20 percent of drivers admitting to doing it regularly while on the road. Especially during the cold season, drivers wait a while before taking off their winter coats, but they do not stop their cars to do so.

The rule is: Focus on the traffic while driving and demonstrate your outstanding multi-tasking abilities at work or at home!

For its research “Distraction in Traffic”, the AZT carried out a representative survey of drivers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland together with the Institute for Applied Psychology (Mensch-Verkehr-Umwelt) and Makam Market Research and analyzed the current state of international research.

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Christian Weishuber

Allianz Deutschland AG
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