Brake Warns That Motorists Should Give Their Undivided Attention To Driving

Nearly Two-Thirds Of Drivers Eat At The Wheel

26.02.2014

Road safety charity Brake believes drivers are putting themselves and other road users at risk by eating food while behind the wheel.

The organisation joined forces with Direct Line to conduct a study that showed as many as 62 per cent of motorists in the UK admit to consuming food while they are in the driver's seat.

According to the figures, 29 per cent of people have opened packaging and eaten food while driving and a further 33 per cent have tucked into something that was passed to them by a passenger.

Approximately two per cent of the poll confirmed they had been forced to swerve in order to avoid causing an accident as a direct result of consuming food and drink.

Brake is concerned that too many people are multi-tasking while driving.

These latest findings tie in with research undertaken by the Institute of Advanced Motorists and Vision Critical, which suggested just 60 per cent of drivers concentrate fully whilst travelling.

Brake believes many people lead busier, more hectic lives in 2014 and statistics indicate that Britons spend more money on food that is eaten on the move than any other European country.

Deputy chief executive at the organisation Julie Townsend warned that drivers must give their "undivided attention" to their surroundings when they are behind the wheel.

"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," she commented.

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

Ms Townsend also urged the government to increase the fines given to motorists who have been distracted or displayed examples of careless driving.

This, she feels, would be a good way to cut down on the number of "risky multi-tasking drivers" on the UK's roads.

Expert Opinion
Poor concentration behind the wheel is a major cause of road traffic collisions. We all lead busy lifestyles but if you need to eat, find a safe place to pull over and stop your vehicle. Drivers need to rest and take regular breaks so they remain as alert as possible on the roads.

“The rules are simple, whilst you are driving, concentrate on your driving and nothing else. We see the impact that road accidents have on people lives on a daily basis and have helped thousands of seriously injured people get their lives back on track.

"It is important that drivers are more vigilant about road safety and are not distracted by eating or drinking whilst driving their vehicle to reduce the number of incidents now and for the future.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner