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Eating and drinking at wheel widespread, study reveals

By Jack Stocks
Monday, June 30, 2014 - 12:30

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HABIT?: Should we?

Almost 30% of fleet operators eat and drink while driving, even though it is almost as dangerous as using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone.

The latest TrackCompare.co.uk snap poll, held from June 19-25, asked ‘Do you eat and drink while driving?’ – 71% (92) said no, 29% (38) said yes.

Distractions from the road ahead greatly increase the risk of being in or causing a collision, a previous study has confirmed.

According to Lytx Europe, which specialises in driver safety services for commercial fleets, people who eat and drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers who do not because of the distraction it causes.

The company’s data shows drivers who use a hands-free device are 4.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision, compared with 4.7 times for smartphone or tablet users.

Kjell Anderton, a.UK Director at TrackCompare.co, said: “Munching a sandwich or sipping coffee, now sold at virtually every service station, seems such an innocent thing to do – but, of course, it’s not.

When answering the question, ‘Do you eat and drink while driving?’ respondents were very straightforward, comments including:

  • ‘All the time, unfortunately’
  • ‘When I have a long day I have no option as I cannot stop’
  • ‘No. I know someone who nearly ended up in a massive accident because of this stupid behaviour’
  • ‘All the time, and all my drivers do as well – all six of them’
  • ‘All the time – a habit of a lifetime’

Other comments included:

  • ‘Occasionally but not all the time’
  • ‘All the time More habit than anything, especially as the drivers are all on long drives’
  • ‘Confession time: yes I do. I work long hours so it’s practical for me’
  • ‘Unfortunately, I am a culprit’
  • ‘I admit this is something I do all the time. Lol’
  • ‘No, never’
  • ‘Not really – sometimes’
  • ‘I have to admit I am a culprit of this’
  • ‘Not really, I have sweets. Does that count?’
  • ‘Yes, I do – sometimes’

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