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I'm staring at the man in the mirror

28th March 2013 Print

Britain's landscape, the fairer sex and Facebook: just a few of the well-documented reasons why a man's eyes might unwisely wander from the road while driving. But nothing it would seem is more distracting to the modern male motorist than his own reflection.
According to new research from MORE TH>N Car Insurance, vanity-obsessed male motorists - ‘Motorsexual Men' - have caused an estimated 2.2 million accidents on the roads in the last 12 months as a result of admiring their own appearance in the rear view mirror or using grooming products while driving.
Whether it's styling their hair (23 per cent), inspecting their complexion (19 per cent), pouting and posing (15 per cent) or checking the brightness of their pearly whites (10 per cent), the rear view mirror is perfectly positioned to let groomed guys gaze at their own face while in the car. What's more an estimated 1.3 million Motorsexual Men will regularly apply facial moisturiser, fake tan, and even male foundation when in control of a moving vehicle.
Derek Zoolander may have famously claimed in the eponymous film that "there's more to life than being really good looking". Motorsexual Men of the UK, however, would seem to disagree. In fact, so preoccupied with their own appearance are they that a whopping 2.9 million will linger on their reflections between five and ten times in the space of a single 30 minute car journey.  With roughly 4.8 seconds taken up each time they check themselves out, that means millions of male motorists could be spending up to 48 seconds with their eyes fixed on themselves instead of the road.
Unfortunately, such an obsession with perfecting ‘Blue Steel' behind the wheel often results in a costly case of bent steel too, with the Motorsexual Men that have had a car crash racking up an average of £653.20 damage each.
Matt Pernet at MORE TH>N commented: "We've heard a number of cautionary tales of women trying to apply makeup when driving, but until now men fawning over their own appearance behind the wheel was an unexplored area. This research shows that Motorsexual Men are significant in their numbers and are putting their safety and the safety of others at risk by valuing the importance of their own reflection over that of the road ahead."
Arguably bearing more similarity to the beauty floor of a department store than a mode of transport, 44 per cent of the gents surveyed by MORE TH>N Car Insurance also claimed that they always keep the inside of their motors fully-stocked with grooming products.
Top grooming products kept in cars by male motorists
1. Deodorant / anti perspirant (25 per cent)
2. Face wipes (15 per cent)
3. Aftershave (13 per cent)
4. Hairbrush (12 per cent)
5. Moisturiser (12 per cent)
6. Toothpaste / mouthwash (10 per cent)
7. Hair wax / gel (7 per cent)
8. Lip balm (7 per cent)
9. Fake tan (5 per cent)
10. Make up for men (3 per cent)
While the likes of TOWIE's Joey Essex and Mark Wright may have put Essex on the map for ubiquitous spray tans and sharp haircuts, it is not the heartland of the Motorsexual Man. That honour goes to the North West, with more Motorsexual Men heralding from this region than any other area of the UK (13 per cent).
In addition to stomping grounds, it would also seem that the Motorsexual Man can be identified by the type of car he drives - with the Ford Focus (11 per cent) proving to be the most popular, followed by the Ford Fiesta (10 per cent).
Matt Pernet concluded: "Given that the male grooming market is now valued at £35bn and growing, it's clear to see just how important looking good is for the modern man. However, such a preoccupation with appearance should never extend into a moving vehicle. With almost one third of Motorsexual Men planning to hit the roads this Easter, it's important that they leave their looks alone while driving and pay attention to the roads."