7 Things You Shouldn’t Do While Driving

My youngest son and I were talking about drivers the other day and he thought it would be fun to make a list of the top things you shouldn’t do while driving. We all know that texting and talking on your cell phone is a major problem while driving and is very obvious to many people that it’s a problem, so we’ll leave that off this list, although it’s the biggest no-no of all time. Let’s hope there isn’t anything else on this list that describes what you do.

Putting on Makeup

I’ve often seen drivers put on their make up while driving. Now, I’m not just speaking of those who reapply their makeup while their stopped at a traffic light, I’m also referring to those who reapply while the vehicle is in motion. This creates an obvious distraction and ultimately a crash. Take the time while at home and apply your make up, or at least wait until you get to work before touching up those rough spots.


Another no-no to do while driving is eating. I know we all have a busy life, but it’s healthier and safer to take your time and eat a proper meal while sitting at the table. Since we often need two hands to eat our food, how would you steer? We all know we have a driving lane and a passing lane, but do we have an eating lane?


I know there are times that we’ll need to read directions from a map, a GPS or written directions, but believe it or not, I’ve seen drivers reading books while driving. They must have pulled out the book at a red light and couldn’t put the book down when the light turned green. Since driving takes full concentration, keep your reading skills for road signs. At least some of those signs have pictures; in colour too!

Rolling Down the Crank Window

Since vehicles are still made with crank windows instead of power windows, it’s important to never lean across the front seat to roll down the crank window. You’ll never see what’s ahead of your vehicle and it takes too long to do to ensure you won’t crash into someone or something. Either wait until you can safely pull over or do it before leaving on your trip.

Reaching into the Backseat

A big no-no to do while driving is reaching into the backseat to find something, like a purse, a phone or a snack. This usually takes longer than a couple of seconds and will definitely make your vehicle wander as you twist your body around in your seat. Again, wait until you can pull over to get what you need.


We all find ourselves over dressed from time to time. The weather may have been cooler in the morning, but as you continue to drive, the weather becomes warmer and you need to take off a jacket or sweater. Undressing while driving is never a good thing. I’ve watched people pull their sweater over their head while their vehicle is in motion and it amazes me they don’t crash into something or someone. Wait until you can pull over before disrobing.


I have the strange habit of doing multiple sneezes each time I have to sneeze. I’m not talking about just a couple of sneezes at a time. I’m talking about 15 sneezes or more at a time. I often need to pull over to sneeze, mainly because my eyes close while sneezing. And driving is really nothing to sneeze at.

Author’s Bio: Scott Marshall is Director of Training for Young Drivers of Canada (www.yd.com). Recently he has been a judge on the first three seasons of Canada’s Worst Driver on Discovery Network. Scott started writing columns on driving for his community paper over 4 years ago. Since then his columns have been printed in several publications including newspaper, magazines and various web-sites. Now he has his own blog at http://safedriving.wordpress.com. You can reach Scott via e-mail with any questions or comments at safedriver36@yahoo.ca.

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