Road safety campaigners have taken aim at multi-tasking women who apply make-up behind the wheel - and a Herald on Sunday survey proves how many ways Kiwi drivers can be distracted.Oh dear. It looks like it is all the fault of those pesky women drivers again. It's the same old story: the ladies, bless them, are so concerned about their appearance and so scatter-brained that they cannot drive. What are we to do?
Women applying make-up have been identified as one of four killer distractions on Kiwi roads by the Road Safety Trust. It comes in the wake of a British study that revealed one in five women had applied mascara on the move and three per cent had caused a collision while powdering their nose.
And who ate all the pies? The Herald stationed photographers at a busy intersection
They caught drivers - admittedly while stationary at the lights - eating pies, talking on cellphones, lighting up, drinking from cups and even reading a newspaper.Perhaps the caveat "while stationary at the lights" has some relevance in this matter. The Herald's investigative journalism will not win it a Qantas for this story.
Anyway, what about those women drivers? Well, we could look at the facts of the matter. How about that research then? Here it is:
18% of the women questioned said they had have applied make up while driving, while more than 3% said they had also crashed their car as a result of it. Diamond managing director, Sian Lewis said, "It's worrying that quite so many women admit to this. With more than 15 million women drivers in the UK, this could be as many as 2.7 million women regularly applying their make up whilst driving on UK roads.Ah yes, it was a poll conducted by an insurance company. It was that kind of research; the kind that extrapolates a figure to make a very big number proceeded by the phrase "could be."
Oddly enough, cosmetics were not mentioned by the Department of Transport in Britain as a cause of accidents. But then, neither was flirting; Diamond, however, found otherwise:
A nationwide survey by women’s car insurance specialist, Diamond has revealed two-fifths of British motorists flirt with other drivers and 15% have crashed their car or had a near miss after being distracted by someone they fancy.Clearly, this is a far greater problem than make-up application: the figures do not lie. And then there is the menace of perving:
Diamond quizzed 3,000 people and found almost half of men and over a third of women admit to flirting with other motorists. But the male of the species is the most guilty of flirtatious behaviour, with three times as many men than women admitting they flirt with other drivers on a daily basis.
However, it’s not just the heat outside that’s getting men hot under the collar, it seems members of the opposite sex can also have an effect on concentration behind the wheel, with 29 per cent of men admitting to being distracted by women’s summer attire. This is compared to just 3 per cent of women who admit to being distracted by men’s choice of summer clothing whilst behind the wheel.This ground-breaking research was conducted by the very busy media centre of a rival insurance company for women. Interestingly enough, the media release was about women being better drivers than men, but the prurient British media carefully ignored this inconvenient truth.
Will the Road Safety Trust take action on the menaces of flirting and perving while in charge of an automobile? Or might it realise that surveys conducted by insurance companies are just vehicles for cheap publicity? And will it learn that making advertising campaigns on the basis of such PR stunts is just a bit stupid and just a bit insulting to women?
I think we should be told.