AOL Autos has written a lot about all kinds of distracted driving this year, and not just texting.
There have been people who attempt to eat whole rotisserie chickens while driving; people who drive around with dogs on their laps and laying around their necks; and of course the folks who text, text, text and wind up killing themselves or others.
Volkswagen has touched on a common kind of distracted driving and created a powerful kind of public-service video (see above) that has taken a lot of women--mostly women anyway--off guard and gone viral.
The idea started with Volkswagen's German ad agency DDB Tribal by enlisting a popular video-blogger Nikkie, a 19-year old Netherlands-based woman who has a popular series of make-up videos on Youtube.
It's pretty clever since those watching the Nikkie video figure they are just getting one more session on eye make-up before the public-service message comes crashing through the wall.
Women applying make-up is a common form of distracted driving. In the U.K., one on five women admit to applying makeup while driving. A recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found touching up your lipstick (or any other makeup) can increase a driver's crash risk by three times whereas talking on the phone upped the risk by just 1.3 times.
Numerous states have adopted driving-while-texting laws. But distracted driving is becoming such a problem with so many activities that more states could move to adopt a California-style law. Under California's vehicle code, a driver can be ticketed $145 to $1,000 for engaging in "any activities" that distracts the driver. The law is intentionally worded in a broad manner, and spells out any activity that causes the driver to have "wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property."