Eating Behind the Wheel

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Updated May 29, 2019

What do you think is more dangerous: driving while intoxicated or eating behind the wheel? The correct answer may surprise you.

Eating While Driving Is Dangerous

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 percent has a delayed response time of about 12.5 percent, whereas the response time of a person who is consuming food while driving has a delayed response time of about 44 percent.

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, and find your drink. You can’t eat and keep two hands on the wheel.

Focus on Driving Safely

This study reinforces the importance of keeping both hands on the wheel and free from distractions while driving.

          Wilson Kehoe Winingham brings you this information with best regards for you and your family’s safety.

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