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Eating and drinking while driving as dangerous as using mobile, claims Lytx

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Eating or drinking while driving is nearly as dangerous as using a mobile device – whether handheld or hands-free - and greatly increases a driver’s risk of being in or causing a collision, according to new data released by Lytx Europe.

Lytx found that drivers who eat and drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision than those who do not due to the distraction this causes. This is almost as high as the collisions resulting from use of a mobile device while driving: Lytx’ data shows that drivers using a hands-free device are 4.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision and those using a smartphone or tablet are 4.7 times more likely to be involved in a collision compared to drivers who did not. 

“I see people eating while driving almost every day. What we’ve learned is that this type of distraction is nearly as dangerous as talking or texting on your phone,” said Del Lisk, vice president of Safety Services for Lytx.

“We know that distracted driving is a significant factor in vehicle collisions, and our predictive analytics show that distractions such as eating and drinking or use of smartphones and tablets are among the leading causes of collisions. Everyone should consider that the next time they think about eating behind the wheel. Getting into a collision and potentially causing serious injury simply isn’t worth it.” 

Lytx general manager Paul Jones added: “Approximately 1,750 people were killed and 200,000 people were injured on UK roads in 2012, according to the most recent Department for Transport figures. The fact is that the majority of these incidents are due to human error and are avoidable. We’re dedicated to using our technology to help professional drivers adopt safer driving habits and measurably reduce the risk that is happening on our roads every day.” 

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  • Bianca Castafiore - 13/06/2014 11:16

    I don't find starters or dessert to be a problem, but the main course can be a bit tricky, particularly when serving up the gravy, so I normally slow down a bit for that........

    • Smokin' Joe - 13/06/2014 14:06

      @Bianca Castafiore - pasty and chips are safest

  • Alan Scott-Davies - 13/06/2014 12:05

    I'm afraid I really didn't need anyone to tell me what should be obvious and of course eating and drinking is as dangerous as using a mobile. It is the removal of the hand from the steering wheel that is a major factor in being distracted and this includes [of course] police traffic officers removing their hand from the wheel to answer their radios. As far as the courts are concerned using a mobile phone would be looked at in the same context as eating a sandwich- you shouldn't do it because at the very least you are driving without due care and are not in full control of the vehicle.

  • Subhash Chavda - 13/06/2014 12:28

    Here we go again. Phones, food, drink, smoking, in-car entertainment, passengers, pets, sat-nav's, doing make-up, etc, etc. etc. Where does it end! What happened to trying to instill common sense to what we do? Then there is the aspect of data from a party with a vested interest in selling their services.

    • Smokin' Joe - 13/06/2014 14:05

      @Subhash Chavda - with you there. Since I have been eating/drinking for 50+ years and smoking for 40+ I can really do both without it being a distraction. whereas this kind of article (4.6 times more likely etc) really is.

  • L S - 13/06/2014 12:39

    What about smoking and talking to passengers then.

    • ad - 16/06/2014 09:40

      @L S - well don't drive if your going to moan, that could cause an accident too.

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