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More than 25 percent of drivers focus on their appearance, clothing and care for their bodies while driving.

(Allianz Center for Technology (AZT) on distractions while driving – focusing on appearance)

According to the latest research on road accidents by Allianz’s Center for Technology (AZT), drivers while driving often perform a variety of activities that do not belong behind the wheel, such as shaving or putting on makeup. AZT believes that such actions contribute to accidents behind the wheel more than is so far assumed. “Driver impairment is a common factor that approximately causes every tenth accident, “says Christoph Lauterwasser, director of Allianz’s Center for Technology.

Concern about the appearance often goes far beyond shaving and makeup. Experts have discovered a number of activities that drivers do while driving: putting on jewelry or watches, adjusting clothes, fixing hair, carefully studying their skin or teeth, nail appearance, changing glasses, medication, placing or removing a tie, changing shoes. People are especially prone to body care while driving on the way to work.

Many of these activities and disturbances were not considered dangerous because the driver did not even realize when they did them. These actions are random, they are so dangerous because the driver does not realize that they are doing so, “explains Jörg Kubitzki, a researcher of car accidents at the AZT.

Most people underestimate how dangerous looking at their makeup in the rearview mirror really is. Researchers of car accident have discovered that this viewing can take up to several seconds. For example, when applying makeup, drivers are not watching the road for a large percentage of the time, a large U.S. study found (100 Car Study).

“Applying makeup is a very demanding task. This means that 40 percent of drivers lose focus and consequently, the likelihood of an accident increases,” says Kubitzki. In a recent study, AZT found that seven percent of the respondents groomed themselves, applied makeup or shaved while driving.

Looking in the mirror is often not motivated for security but for observing other individuals. If drivers are not just checking the distance, such views may take longer than you might assume. It is a factor that interferes with your attention.

Driving & makeup

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For this research into the hazards while driving in traffic, AZT conducted a representative study of drivers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland together with the Institute of Applied Psychology (Mensch-Umwelt-Verkehr) and Makam market research which analyzed the current situation on the international market.
Overall, 27 percent of surveyed participants admitted doing some of the following activities while driving: applying makeup, shaving, adjusting clothes, and putting on or removing jewelry and watches.

The proportion of drivers who change clothes while driving is very high, about 20 percent of them do it. “During winter, drivers wait a bit before they take off their coat and when doing so they continue to drive without stopping their car,” says Kubitzki. ‘ They should really consider how those few seconds could cost their lives or the lives of others’.

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2013 Golf-R Cabrio

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Along with the first winter morning coldness also come annoying problems with driving. Cold engines start harder, especially in the older and more defective vehicles. In the northern regions we are greeted by dew or ice on the windshield. Before you start your engine thoroughly clean all the windows, lights and turn signals.

It is very dangerous to drive with fogged windows and it is necessary to take a few minutes to set the conditions for good visibility. The windshield washer fluid should be regulated, and dew and ice should be removed with a scraper, and not with the wipers. If you don’t pay attention, the wiper blades can easily be damaged.

Don’t forget to clean the exterior mirrors, because your side visibility depends on their cleanliness. And in a few minutes the engine is warm and hot air starts coming out of the vents and begins to dry the inside of the glass. Initially, drive safely and without hurry, because you need to wait for the engine to fully warm up before it starts working at full intensity.

Caution is necessary because when there’s cold tires and cold asphalt the gripping is poor and it increases the risk of skidding, whilst braking and cornering. Ice hangs at the entrances to the tunnels and areas rarely exposed to sunlight. running into ice at high speed will certainly mean skidding off the road, and it is difficult to prevent even for the most skilful driver.

Finally I repeat – good winter tires are worth more than anything and do not skimp out on them.
Gone are the days when you had to use special oil for winter conditions and when antifreeze was used only in the summer. Multigrade oils, especially synthetic, work all year round, and this goes for the coolant also. Use a special cleaner for glass, and most importantly get the car thoroughly serviced.

If there is several thousand kilometers to the term, it is advisable to make the service before the deadline in order to be ready to welcome winter conditions. It is particularly important to service the brakes, check the shock absorbers, ball joints and steering. And finally adjust the suspension geometry.


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