Distracted driving concerns that don't involve a cell phone

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- State troopers warn against other types of distracted driving that have nothing to do with your cell phone.

From looking at something in your car to eating a meal, there are many ways your mind is not concentrating on driving.

You may even become comfortable enough in the car to apply makeup at a stoplight.

THP Sergeant Randall Martin said it's OK if women want to touch up their makeup when their car is stopped.

But for women who apply makeup while driving, it can be dangerous to them and other people on the roads.

"I don't know how long it takes you to put your makeup on, but get into work sit in the car for that extra time it takes," explained Sgt. Randall Martin, "Put it on then when you're nice and safe. Do it in the vehicle before you head out. There's always a way to circumvent those things other than trying to do it while you're driving down the road."

One woman said she tries to warn other people about distracted driving.

"Sometimes I'll even honk and be like, don't do that," said Barbara Curran.

But it's not just makeup, animals can be distracting too.

Troopers said they need to be in the back seat. That's because they can block your view, especially if they are outside the window and you see them in your side mirrors.

Martin said it is best to keep them restrained because they can also act like cannon balls if you crash.

"There are crash forces that take place. So that the weight of that animal is going to come forward and strike whatever is in front of it. So if it strikes you in the back, and whether you're restrained or whether you're not restrained, those forces are still going to hit you," said Martin.

You can face a penalty for distracted driving, even if you are not using your cell phone.

Martin said if you're swerving, fluctuating speeds or have a crash because of a distraction in your car that is not caused by your cell phone, that is considered a "Due Care" violation.

"You have the responsibility as a driver to maintain full control and full awareness of your vehicle at all times," said Martin.

Now county court systems control fines and costs.

THP said distracted driving tickets can be up to about $50 plus other fees.

Martin adds he's seen people reading the newspaper behind the steering wheel and even seen people have maps laid-out on their dashboard.

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