Do you eat behind the wheel?
Studies reveal eating is as devastating as talking!
Drivers are being urged not to eat behind the wheel and to take a break and enjoy their food away from their vehicles. Road safety charity Brake and Direct Line reveal more than six in ten (62%) have eaten at the wheel in the past year and three in ten (29%) unwrapped food themselves at the wheel. It is thought this is a telling symptom of busy lifestyles putting lives at risk plus studies have suggested eating a meal at the wheel increases your risk of a devastating crash as much as talking on a phone.
The numbers of UK drivers eating at the wheel reflects a wider trend towards eating on the move, as lifestyles become ever more fast-paced. Life is busier than ever, Britons have been found to spend more on food eaten on the move than any other country in Europe. working days are now longer and eating seems to be left to the end of the day. Our continental neighbours are much more likely to take time out to enjoy meals.
Brake and Direct Line's survey shows it's not just meal times being squeezed by our busy lifestyles, as one in five drivers (20%) admit to doing their hair, applying make-up or otherwise tidying up their appearance while at the wheel. One in twenty (5%) admit doing so in free-flowing traffic, risking appalling crashes. The consequences can be so deadly, in May 2012 cyclist Joe Wilkis was killed by a driver eating a sandwich. Eating at the wheel is part of the wider problem of distracted drivers, believed to contribute to around one in five crashes (22%). Also drivers who attempt to multi-task at the wheel are two to three times more likely to crash and complex tasks like unwrapping and eating a burger increase the risk even more.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, 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.”
So is distraction deadly? Drivers need to keep their mind and eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel to drive safely. Giving into distractions is a bit like drink-driving: it affects reaction times and control, and could easily cost someone their life.
Eating and drinking on the move might seem harmless but research shows it reduces our ability to react quickly. Eating should be a pleasure, so take the time out and savour your meals when you're not driving.
Research says on long journeys, stop for breaks every two hours and use that time to eat, catch up on phone calls and messages, and do any personal grooming you need to do. When you get back in the car, then our mind should be completely back on the road?
Is that your want you believe? keep your your journey clear of eating, drinking, smoking, and thinking how any email have I missed to keep safe?