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Talk about distracted driving . . .

Forget road rage. Nearly 1 in 3 drivers reports a little hanky-panky.

By MSN Money_Edit May 27, 2010 11:33AM

This post comes from Des Toups of MSN Money.


Imagine what they could do with their hands free.

A survey by headset maker Jabra of 1,800 drivers in six countries found that 29% had kissed others while behind the wheel. And 15% had . . . done more than that. Only about half of respondents reported that they use a hands-free device for cell phones, Jabra laments.

Kinda makes the Big Mac and fries you juggled between shifting gears last night seem downright responsible.

Here's what else drivers owned up to:

  • Nearly three out of four (72%) admitted eating  regularly while driving.
  • 28% text.
  • Nearly 25% style their hair or change clothes.
  • 13% apply makeup.
  • 12% write or read e-mails.
  • 10% read newspapers or magazines.
  • 5% play video games.
  • 5% shave.

Nearly 6,000 Americans died in crashes involving distracted driving in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's 16% of all traffic fatalities for that year. In addition, 500,000 were injured in 2008 in accidents involving some form of driver distraction, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports.


Jabra's survey covered France, Britain, Japan, Germany and Russia in addition to the U.S.; respondents were evenly split between the sexes. The survey included questions about 31 activities from sipping a beverage to hanky-panky. (The French apparently were big in "Other Activities: Yelling at other drivers.")

Though we can't turn up any specific laws against hanky-panky at 65 mph, penalties for merely texting range from a few hundred dollars to a potential criminal record if you kill or injure another because your busy Twitter schedule couldn't wait.

If you wonder what other drivers consider dangerous, here are the 31 activities classified by your peers on the highway:

Low risk:

  • Listening to music.
  • Listening to radio.
  • Talking with passengers.
  • Changing CDs, tapes, MP3 tracks, etc.
  • Drinking beverages.
  • Eating food.
  • Yelling at other drivers.
  • Operating a GPS system.
  • Smoking.
  • Listening to audio books.

Medium risk:

  • Talking on the phone (without a hands-free device).
  • Texting.
  • Changing shoes.
  • Applying makeup.
  • Taking off clothes.
  • Kissing.
  • Reading road maps.
  • Combing/doing hair.
  • Applying deodorant/perfume.
  • Brushing teeth.
  • Taking off jewelry.

High risk:

  • Writing/reading e-mails.
  • Sexual activity.
  • Working on laptop.
  • Reading newspapers or magazines.
  • Reading books.
  • Watching a movie.
  • Playing video games.
  • Browsing the Web.
  • Putting on clothes.
  • Shaving.

More from MSN Money:

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