The danger of fast food
Admiral research has revealed two thirds of motorists eat when behind the wheel despite most drivers thinking it's dangerous and should be illegal. Almost one in six (15 per cent) motorists have also crashed or had a near miss as a result of in-car eating.
The survey of 2,000 motorists by Admiral has shown that while two thirds of drivers have eaten when driving, for one in twelve it's commonplace with them doing so between five and ten times a week.
Admiral’s study also revealed three quarters (77 per cent) of British motorists believe eating when driving is dangerous and more than half (55 per cent) think it should be against the law to eat behind the wheel of a car. More shockingly the study found almost one in six (15 per cent) motorists have crashed or had a near miss as a result of eating behind the wheel.
Admiral managing director, Sue Longthorn, said: “Eating while driving is not specifically illegal in the UK but motorists can find themselves charged with careless driving if police don’t think they are in control of their vehicle as a result.
“Any activity that involves taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel will distract you from the job in hand, so if you’re going to eat in the car, you should always park up.”
Most motorists (26 per cent) snack between meals in the car but for many eating in the car is about proper meals too. 12 per cent said they eat breakfast, 9 per cent eat lunch and 4 per cent even eat their evening meal in the car.
The most common thing to be eaten behind the wheel is chocolate, followed by crisps and sandwiches, but ready meals and pasta also made it into the top ten of foods most often eaten in the car.
Some drivers admitted eating more unusual meals behind the wheel, including soup, Chinese takeaway, pavlova, pot noodle, roast dinners, sushi, burritos and even lobster.
While most people (27 per cent) who dine in the car said they park up to eat, large numbers of drivers are also eating on the move whether that’s on the motorway (22 per cent), on residential streets (17 per cent) or on country roads (9 per cent).
So why are Britain’s drivers eating on the move? Two fifths (41 per cent) eat in the car just because they’re hungry, a quarter (26 per cent) eat in the car to save time in the morning and 15 per cent say they eat in the car as it’s the only chance they get.
Sue Longthorn continued: “Things like pot noodles and pavlovas are extreme examples of what drivers have eaten in their car but no matter how small or manageable your food seems to be, it is still a distraction.
“Even reaching for a chocolate bar or opening a bag of crisps can be dangerous so if you’re hungry, always park up to eat.”