posted 6 years ago

'Eating Behind the Wheel' is it dangerous driving?

A new report suggests that ‘eating behind the wheel’ is more dangerous than drink driving or using your phone

A new report suggests that ‘eating behind the wheel’ is more dangerous than drink driving or using your phone. Researchers at the University of Leeds found that reaction times of motorists who ate while driving were up to 44 per cent slower than usual. When sipping a drink, responses were up to 22 per cent slower and drivers were 18 per cent more likely to experience poor lane control.

By comparison, a study undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory found that motorists who used their phones to send text messages were 37.4 per cent slower to react while alcohol at the legal limit slowed reaction times by 12.5 per cent.

Professor Samantha Jamson, from the University of Leeds, commented “it is accepted that the distraction of talking on a hand-held mobile phone may increase accident risk. However, other activities that involve taking one hand off the wheel, such as eating or drinking, may also cause distraction. Drivers take their eyes off the road in order to reach for or unwrap items.”

Eating, drinking and smoking while driving is not illegal but drivers can be charged with careless driving if police believe they are not in control of their vehicle as a result.


Istill cannot believe that smoking is legal whilst driving.Holding something in your hand which is a light is just as dangerous as using a mobile phone

what will be next, dont breath and drive?

Maybe we should make all cars automatic. That means we can keep two hands on the wheel until we switch the radio on or one of the many other things in a modern car which requires the use of another hand.

... and not wearing seat belts ... and how come the police can chat on their radios whilst driving but we can't use our phones ... they are certainly not better drivers than the average ...

then again the worst drivers on the roads seem to be the ones in police cars ... I have recently seen ... police cars doing U-turns without any indicating and right next to a no U-turn sign ... driving through a no-Entry ... parking on pedestrian crossing zigzags and double yellow lines (whilst the pcw went to a cash machine)speeding with no lights or sirens ... crossing double white lines (and nearly colliding with my vehicle)and overtaking me on a humped bridge ....

and how about all the extra dangers courtesy of your local councils ... speed bumps ... chicanes ... speed cameras ... pot holes ... badly signposted and marked roads ...

Reading some of these inputs makes me think if you cannot multitask maybe you should not drive

So how come we can change gear and turn on the CD or Radio? They all involve leaving the steering wheel

Eating at the wheel is not illegal?! Who are you kidding? Then howcome a driver was prosecuted for eating a KitKat his passenger wife had unwrapped for him at traffic lights?

Bridget Pestell is right when she says pedestrians and runners etc.are also hazards. However,the driver is more hazardous as he is in charge of a much more dangerous weapon - the car,which will do a lot more damage. So I don't go along with the"easily picked on motorist". As a driver of many years standing I say we should take more responsibility


It doesnt matter how much legislation you might want to address the issues of smoking,drinking,eating etc it is not going to alter the fact that 92% of accidents are caused by human error in some shape or form. You might consider that pedestrians, runners and cyclists with earphones are contributory factors in accidents,eating whilst walking and crossing roads is a huge accident risk amongst children and adults. So lets make the research fit all 'walks of life' and not just the easily picked on motorist.

GPS, Tom tom use should be a ban and 15 lashes, phone use 15 lashes,more than a pint of beer but less than 3, a smacked wrist,3 0r more 6 month ban and 15 lashes. eating or smoking £5000 fine

Its all relative to driver skill and individual capability. The police had telephone style radio handsets for years. Heater controls and other accessories all have to be located and operated. The truth is one riule never fits all. There are people who shouldn't be driving even if they have both hands on the wheel, are stone cold sober, not eating, and not using their phone.Personally I think using the phone is worse and distrust the research.

So would smoking be classed the same as eating then? Makes sense as using the ashtray (presumably) is an added hazard

Any activity carried out while driving that takes attention away from the sctual business of driving should constitute an act of dangerous driving in my opinion!

Driving a Skoda is punishment enough, don't you think?!?

We should not tar everyone with the same brush. Some drivers are do stupid things even without distrations. I would not take my eyes from the road more than looking in a mirror if I was desperate for a sweet/food if going low sugared! I have seen drivers in slow queues pen in hand presumably doing the crossword! I personally stop having conversation with passengers or doing anything else for 100% concentration when circumstances dictate.

I have a feeling, based on personal experience, that falling asleep is a major cause of accidents. These other activities are dangerous depending on the road conditions at the time. A phone is extra dangerous because there are two people involved - similar to a wife creating about something that is not within the driver's control.

The most dangerous distactions I have faced are from children and spouse. Also try calming a panicky passenger when a wasp gets in.

Smoking isn't as bad as you might think. Just because someone smokes in the car it doesn't make them stupid. They're not going to take any greater risk than a non-smoker and will ensure that the road takes absolute priority over the ciggy. There's even a possibility that a smoker may be MORE aware than a non-smoker, because they are forced to stay more alert! If smoking in the car was reported as that bigger cause for accidents, it would have been banned yonks ago... but it hasn't!

makes me luagh no one ever says smoking is as bad as eating the action of putting your hand to your mouth is the same

Make an IQ test part of the driving test. If you are bright and can safely drive at 95 mph or whilst using a phone or eating then it should be endorsed on your license. If you hog the middle lane looking petrified with a sat nav stuck in the middle of the windscreen, you should be resigned to public transport.

Well it's pretty obvious that doing anything behind the wheel which causes a concentration blip is going to be dangerous and if that includes breaking wind for some then, yes, that too is dangerous. But banning any of this won't stop. I passed a girl stuck in the centre lane of the M4 the other day using her iPhone. I take it she knows it's illegal but she will only stop doing it the day she kills someone. She may consider stopping if she gets a fixed penalty. People caught using their mobiles behind the wheel should have to take their test again. That would stop these morons.

Clarkson and May proves driving was easy, if you can do it in a sleeping bag or while sewing on a button, eating's nothing. I do agree that smoking ought to be banned though. If you're enjoying a BLT and you have to grab the wheel in an emergency, you can. Smokers aren't going to be in a hurry to drop a lit fag in their crotch, and just imagine the accidents they could cause if they did!

Its illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, but drivers still use them no matter who is watching ie they don`t care

I agree with the findings and think all these activities, while driving, should be made illegal.

Daryll sounds a right young anti smoker anarack type,he would have all being vegetarian and driving ecco cars

what rubish what next no passing wind!!!

What about smoking behind the wheel it should be band