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11 things you do in your car – but shouldn’t

11 things you do in your car – but shouldn’t
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Driving in your car can feel like a portable home. It’s often so comfortable that sometimes you pick up a few bad habits along the way, such as eating in the car to having sex. Read on to find out what you should not do in your car.

Putting your feet on the dashboard

Putting your feet on the dashboard
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Whether you’re in the passenger seat or driving your car, your feet should stay off the dashboard. In a 2017 NerdWallet report, 3% of drivers admit to putting their feet on the dashboard or out the window while driving with cruise control. Although this is a relatively small percentage, there is no reason for keeping your feet up – even if you’re sitting shotgun. In 2015, a US couple was in a car accident where the passenger had her feet on the dashboard. She broke both of her legs in several places and urges people not to make the same mistake.

Eating

Eating
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Almost everyone is guilty of eating or drinking behind the wheel at one point or another. Richard Reina, product training director of an aftermarket auto retailer  says sipping on a cup of coffee or water is generally fine; just make sure you’re able to grip the wheel and keep your eyes on the road. “However, the more involved a snack or meal gets, the more distracted you might become,” he says. It might be tempting to reach for a fallen French fry, but it’s also incredibly dangerous.

You may think multitasking in the car is ok, until you read these crazy things people have done while driving.

Storing unnecessary items

Storing unnecessary items
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Some people treat their cars like their home away from home, but it shouldn’t act as a storage unit. Reina says large items in your car could block your visibility, creating dangerous blind spots and limiting your view when reversing. If there’s an emergency or an accident, anything not bolted down could easily move around your car and injure someone if you brake rapidly. Plus, storing items in plain sight can make you a target for theft.

Using headphones

Using headphones
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Listening to music during road trips and long commutes isn’t a problem, but using headphones or earbuds isn’t the best way to listen to it while driving. “Headphones decrease your awareness by filtering out other noises more than your car’s speakers,” he says.

Just for music lovers: discover 50 things you didn’t now about Woodstock.

Blasting music with the windows down

Blasting music with the windows down
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In addition to annoying other drivers, playing loud music with your windows down in your car serves as another distraction. Much like earphones, driving with loud music distracts drivers from hearing important noises around you, Reina says.

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Having sex

Having sex
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Having sex in public – including a parked car – could result in your arrest. Some people have even had sex in their car while driving. According to a study published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, 33% of men and 9% of women in its study participated in some sort of sexual activity while driving, Women’s Health reports.

And while we’re on the subject, here are 20 myths about sex you still probably believe.

Smoking

Smoking
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Smoking health risks are generally well-known. If you do decide to smoke, however, there’s research showing you should avoid doing so in your car. After just half a cigarette burns in a car, the quality of the air can reach levels 10 times over what the US Environmental Protection Agency considers hazardous. Plus, smoking in a closed environment like your car increases third-hand smoke exposure. When people sit in a car that someone has smoked in, the nicotine and other pollutants covering the car release into the air and get on your skin and mouth, according to Psychology Today.

And if that’s not reason enough to pack it in, here are 15 mind-blowing ways your body heals when you quit smoking.

Changing clothes

Changing clothes
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It’s not always illegal to change in your car. However, you could get in trouble for public nudity or indecent exposure depending on where you live, if anyone sees you, and the local laws. It’s better to be safe than sorry and change in an appropriate, private place instead, if possible.

Doing your makeup

Doing your makeup
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Focusing on anything other than driving means you’re distracted and more prone to accidents. “Putting on makeup while driving doubles the reaction time a driver needs to put their foot on the brake,” says Traffic School owner Stephanie Schwartz. Most people also adjust their mirrors to see themselves while they’re putting on their makeup, which means you’re not using your mirror to look at the cars around you. Even if you’re parked, keeping your makeup in your car could actually damage some of your products and make them vulnerable to melting and mould growth.

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