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The 8 weirdest driver distractions

By Crissinda Ponder ·
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Posted: 6 am ET


Is it really worth the risk to snap that selfie during your morning commute? Apparently, some drivers think so. We're willing to bet that's a secret they want kept from their car insurance company.

Taking selfies is just one of several extreme distracted-driving behaviors that people were willing to admit to in a new online survey of nearly 2,000 adult drivers conducted by Erie Insurance.

Just in time for April -- aka National Distracted Driving Awareness Month -- here's a look at eight odd and dangerous driver distractions, with the percentages of motorists who were brave enough to own up to their behavior.

Who takes distracted driving to extremes?

  1. Public displays of affection: 15 percent
  2. Styling hair: 15 percent
  3. Changing clothes: 9 percent
  4. Applying makeup: 8 percent
  5. Brushing and/or flossing teeth: 4 percent
  6. Taking selfies: 4 percent
  7. Switching drivers: 3 percent
  8. Using the bathroom: 3 percent

Source: Erie Insurance

The survey also found that some people curl their eyelashes, put in contact lenses and scratch off lotto tickets while behind the wheel.

No laughing matter

The findings underscore the potential danger that distracted drivers face, Doug Smith, senior vice president of personal lines for Erie Insurance, says in a statement.

"We hope our survey will get people talking about the importance of eliminating distracted driving and keeping their focus on the road," he says.

Regardless of how bizarre -- and risky -- the above behaviors may seem, texting while driving is "the most alarming distraction," says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA.

Too much texting

Thirty percent of motorists report they have sent texts while driving, Erie's survey found. Southern-based drivers text the most; those in the Northeast text the least.

More than 420,000 people were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving in 2012, according to NHTSA, and another 3,328 were killed.

Additionally, millennials have a bad driving rap: 20-something drivers comprise nearly 30 percent of fatal distracted-driving collisions.

Here's a look at how six driver distractions rank on the danger scale.

Follow me on Twitter @CrissiPonder.

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Keith Lowe
April 12, 2015 at 4:01 pm

For those wondering about "bathroom while driving" ... google "trucker bomb"!
Some places it is a HUGE problem.

April 12, 2015 at 9:56 am

This ridiculas article cam out on April Fools Day. And now it is out again. What't the matter, didn't you catch enough fools on the first go-round? Or can't you find anything else to write or publish? Pit-E-Full.

my monicker me262
April 01, 2015 at 6:05 pm

I learned to drive in a 1965 chevy wagon 3 on the column no power anything. The first 5 cars I owned were stick shift. I learned to use both feet. I now use both feet to drive, left to brake right gas, and Im one helluva good driver. Lose the bad habits. Concentrate on the task of driving!!!

Cornell Wilson
April 01, 2015 at 5:56 pm

I have to admit. I zoned out at a Red light. I was waiting for it to turn green. I heard a horn behind me.
Evidently the light cycled without me noticing.
The driver pulled up alongside asking what was the problem. I told him I zoned out. I was thinking of something else.
Wake-up call.

April 01, 2015 at 5:53 pm

seriously going to the bathroom why driving , well isuppose if they should happen to wreck why useing the bathroom why driving then they would be have a ( LEMON CAR for sure