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Six in ten ‘risking lives’ by eating at the wheel

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 14:00
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DANGER: Do you snack at the wheel?

More than six in ten drivers have eaten at the wheel in the past year, research has revealed.

The study, by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line, shows that 62% of motorists have risked lives over the past 12months by snacking while driving.

Three in ten (29%) unwrapped food at the wheel, with a further 33% eating food that was unwrapped and passed to them by a passenger.

One in 50 have narrowly avoided a crash thanks to being distracted by food or drink, having had to brake or swerve to avoid a hazard.

The figures come despite studies suggesting that eating a meal while driving increases crash risk as much as using a mobile phone.

Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive at Brake, said: “Driving is the most complicated and risky thing most of us do on a regular basis, so it is vital we give it our full and undivided attention; we can’t afford to treat our cars as an extension of our kitchen or bathroom.

“Eating at the wheel often means taking your eyes, hands and mind off the road and dramatically increases your chances of crashing and killing or seriously injuring someone.

“Drivers need to take regular breaks and make time away from their vehicles to enjoy lunch or perform other tasks.

“We are also appealing to government to increase fines for distraction and careless driving offences, to stop risky multi-tasking drivers.”

Image courtesy of Highways Agency, with thanks.