What do you think is more dangerous: driving while intoxicated or eating behind the wheel? The correct answer may surprise you.
According to a study by scientists at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England, eating behind the wheel delayed participant’s reaction times by 44 percent. For example, if a motorist’s reaction time was five seconds when driving with two hands on the wheel it would increase to just over seven seconds when eating behind the wheel. Sipping on a beverage is less dangerous but still delays your reaction time by 22 percent.
To compare reaction time, an intoxicated driver with a blood-alcohol level of more than .08% has a delayed response time of about 12.5%. Whereas, the response time of a person who is consuming food while driving has a delayed response time of about 44%.
Surprised? Think about it. When you’re eating behind the wheel, you’re not completely focused on the road. You have to unwrap your food, locate napkins, worry about spilling food on yourself, find your drink, etc. You can’t eat and keep two hands on the wheel.
This study reinforces the importance of keeping both hands on the wheel and free from distractions while driving.
Related Topics: “What YOU Should Know About the New Texting Ban.”
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