Is it Illegal to Put Your Makeup on While Driving?

If you live a busy lifestyle and are used to doing things on the go, like applying your makeup, you could be putting yourself in danger. Sure, you may be able to multitask, but putting on your mascara in the rearview mirror while driving is dangerous. But does that mean it’s illegal?

Applying makeup while driving is not illegal, but you can still get fined for it

A woman applies lipstick whilst driving.
A woman applies lipstick whilst driving. | Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images

The good news is that applying your makeup while driving isn’t technically illegal, but you can still get fined for it. According to Find Law, “There are no laws that explicitly ban eating or applying makeup while driving. But under most distracted driving laws, police can pull you over for any activity that could distract you from driving.” In that case, your best bet is to apply your makeup before you leave the house.

However, if you really need to “put your face on” while you’re on the go, you can always pull over at a nearby parking lot. Let’s keep in mind that applying your makeup while driving your car can easily distract you, which can lead to a fatal accident or even a small fender bender. That’s right, putting your makeup on while sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic can also be a distraction.

There are three types of distracted driving

A driving applies makeup in her car while driving on the freeway.
A driving applies makeup in her car while driving on the freeway. | Bob Riha Jr./Getty Images

Applying your makeup while driving falls under all three different types of distracted driving. According to the CDC, the three main types of distracted driving are:

  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: Taking your mind off driving

As we can see, applying your makeup while driving is fairly dangerous. The CDC reported that “over 3,000 people were killed and about 424,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2019.”

Additionally, about 1 in 5 of the people involved in those fatal crashes with a distracted driver were not in vehicles. Instead, they were walking, biking, or doing something else outside of a vehicle. Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds while driving at 55 mph can permanently change your or someone else’s life.

Remember that distracted driving can be prevented

A driver puts on lipstick while driving.
A driver puts on lipstick while driving. | Becker & Bredel/ullstein bild via Getty Images

While it can be tempting to apply your makeup while driving, you must refrain from doing so. Fortunately, distractions like texting and applying makeup are preventable. In order to prevent distractions as a driver, you can simply do whatever you need to do before or after your trip.

If you’re a passenger and you notice that the driver is distracted, you can simply warn or tell the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road. It may seem rude or unnecessary at times, but remember, your life is in their hands. Either way, remember that distracted driving can be worse than driving drunk, and while it may be tempting to put your makeup on while driving, it’s never worth the risk.

RELATED: 7 Ways Cops Can Tell if You’re Texting While Driving