Mirror, Signal, Mascara: The Dangers Of Applying Makeup While Driving
From brushing your teeth in the shower to ironing your shirt while eating your breakfast, many of us multi-task in the morning so we can get ready that little bit faster. But although these household routines may be perfectly harmless, there are some common morning rituals that should never be combined such as using an electric razor or applying makeup while driving.
In March this year, a driver was pulled over by police for applying eyeliner while driving in the fast lane of the motorway.
A spokesperson for Cheshire Police said: “I can confirm that earlier today, officers from Cheshire Police stopped a motorist who was driving on the m56 after she was spotted applying eyeliner whilst driving. The motorist was issued with a Traffic Offence Report.”
Although the driver in question didn’t cause an accident, such reckless behaviour can have more serious consequences. In a 2009 poll of 4,000 women drivers, three per cent admitted to causing a collision when distracted by the contents of their makeup bag. On a wider scale, this equates to around 450,000 crashes a year.
Not only are these distracted drivers a danger to themselves, they also run the risk of causing a serious accident that could hurt or kill innocent motorists and pedestrians.
Here are just a few examples of the charges you may face if caught applying makeup in your rearview mirror:
Driving Without Due Care and Attention
Applying makeup while driving could be considered a failure to maintain proper control of a vehicle. Doing so could lead to a prosecution for driving without due care and attention. The prosecution would need to prove your driving had fallen below the expected standard.
If convicted, the penalty could range from three to nine penalty points on your licence or a discretionary disqualification. You may also face a financial penalty and be expected to cover court and prosecution costs. The offence is likely to be reported to your insurance company, potentially increasing your premiums for the future.
If your driving is thought to be a danger to others as a result of you applying makeup at the wheel, you may be prosecuted for dangerous driving. You may experience a disqualification for a period of 12 months or more and in some cases, you could receive a custodial sentence.
Death By Careless or Inconsiderate Driving/Dangerous Driving
If your driving causes an accident in which someone is killed, you’re likely to face a much harsher penalty. Causing death by driving is divided into four offences, two of which can be considered applicable when applying makeup at the wheel:
- Causing death by dangerous driving
- Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving
If you’re taken to court, the judge will consider how much you are to blame. For your offence to be considered ‘dangerous driving’ you will have had to have driven in a way that falls far below the standard of a careful competent driver. For your driving to be classed as ‘careless or inconsiderate’ your driving should have fallen below the standard of a careful competent driver.
Kevin Clinton from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says: “It should go without saying that applying makeup while driving is a dangerous thing to do. Driving requires concentration and even a momentary lapse could turn a near-miss into a serious or even fatal accident. Commonsense says apply makeup before or after driving.”
To speak to one of our experienced driving offence solicitors, please get in touch. We’re available around the clock so you can rest assured we’ll be on hand when you need us.