Long Hair Road HazardsRecently, a subsidiary of an auto insurance company released a report that discussed the findings of an independent research study on the issue of long hair and car drivers. The study revealed that approximately 190,000 women in the United Kingdom had “an accident, ‘near-miss’ or made a sudden maneuver as a result of their vision being limited by their hair whilst driving”. The study also showed that 67 percent of women currently have a hairstyle that can fall into their eyes while driving, but only 21 percent of the women always secure their hair before operating their automobiles.
Also of interest is the fact that even when the driver’s hair doesn’t obstruct her view it can result in a driving hazard, as 57 percent of women confessed to taking the hands off the wheel to rearrange their hair or push it out of their eyes. The current trends in hair styling are contributing to the problem, too, since around 53 percent of women make their style a priority over practicality. The current look of longer hair and especially long, loose fringe means that there is an increased risk for these women.
There have been reports for years on the varied and seemingly-innocuous things that can be a hazard while driving on the roadways, but many people fail to think of long hair among the seriously dangerous factors. However, as someone who used to wear hair past the shoulder and loved to drive with the sunroof open, I can tell you firsthand what a danger it can be. As exhilarating as it is to feel your hair whipping out behind you and in a great arcing halo over your head, there are an exceeding number of moments in which the hair lashes across your eyes or mouth, stinging and irritating more than you would expect from hair.
Hairdressers have offered simple solutions for women who want to be safer while driving with long hair:
• Keep a few hair accessories in your car’s glove compartment. An alice band, simple headband or banana clip will keep long fringe out of the eyes and the hair away from your face while driving.
• If this seems to sedate for you, there are many hair slides available today ranging from classic tortoiseshell, to diamant and rhinestone designs that offer a lot of flash and glitz. Or, for the ultimate in classic glamour, a pair of Chanel sunglasses secured tightly on top of your head will push all your stray hair away from your face.
• If you have a hairstyle that would be too “mussed” (or perhaps flattened) by the use of an alice band, comb or barrette, consider using a long scarf to wrap around your hair and loop it back across the shoulders for a classic Grace Kelly touch of elegance.
In my own life, I quickly learned to keep a ponytail elastic looped around the gear shift of my little sports car. This enabled me to confine my hair whenever I got into the car. This served two purposes: it prevented the stinging and slashing hair from pummeling me in the face, and it kept me from having a windblown mass of tangles and knots when I arrived at my destination.
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Of course, recognizing potential “problem” styles can be tricky. Many women think that just because their hair is styled away from the face there would be no issues. So, let’s look at some popular celebrity styles (whose looks are being copied all over) and discuss where we might be encounter problems, and the solutions.