Study Will Make You Want to Stay off the Road

A new study of what people do behind the steering wheel might make you want to stay off the roads. To call attention to National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Erie Insurance commissioned Harris Poll to survey 2,019 adults to determine what they did behind the wheel.
The results are both frightening and disturbing, The Chicago Tribune reported. Some of the statistics that will make you want to buy far more car insurance, start taking mass transit, or invest in an armored vehicle for your daily commute include:

  • Around 30% of drivers admitted to texting and driving.

  • Around 15% of drivers combed or styled their hair behind the meal.


  • Nine percent of drivers admitted that they changed clothes in the driver’s seat.

  • About four percent of drivers used their phones to take selfies behind the wheel.


  • Around eight percent of drivers put on makeup while going down the road.


  • About four percent of drivers brushed or flossed their teeth while driving.


  • About 15% of drivers admitted to “romantic encounters,” a behavior that was not defined.


  • About three percent of drivers went to the bathroom behind the wheel.


  • Another three percent of people admitted to what could be the most dangerous behavior of all: changing drivers in a moving car.


Some other frightening behaviors reported included playing lottery scratch games, putting in contact lenses, and playing the guitar. How these people did those things while driving boggles the imagination. How these people stayed on the road is another question.



In the survey, Erie described distracted driving as any activity that causes a driver to take his or her eyes off the road. The survey was not scientific, but it certainly is frightening.

Southerners, men, and people under 34 were most likely to text and drive, according to the survey. People over 65 were least likely to text and drive, probably because the distracted drivers do not live long enough to reach that age. Northeasterners and women were also less likely to text and drive.

This study seems to prove the contention that human beings are lousy drivers. It also supports Elon Musk’s thesis that human drivers will one day be banned from the roads as too dangerous.

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After reading this, one hopes that Google, Mercedes, Delphi, Arrow, and Tesla get to work and get more self-driving cars on the road. It’s obvious that we need them with all those distracted drivers making the highways into a danger zone.