Don’t Eat and Drink

Image credit: MIke Kline

You learn something new every day, don’t you? I have always been proud of never having drunk and then driven my car, and yet it turns out I am even a big health hazard because of my chocolate munching habits.

Like a lot of other drivers I tend to take some snacks on long drives and I had never really thought about it before, well at least until those spoilsports from the University of Leeds came along and spoiled my appetite that is.

According to their studies filling your mouth with tasty food as you drive makes your reaction times up to 44% slower than when you aren’t eating. If we compare this to drivers who are drinking while driving (not drinking and then driving) then we see that the loss of reaction is less with the tipplers (22%).

Don’t Speak and Drive Either

I know what you are thinking now, what about those annoying fools who speak on their mobile phones while driving? Well, they suffer a drop of over 37% in their reaction times if they are sending text messages and a 26.5% drop if they are holding a conversation over the phone.

A final comparison was made with people who have drunk alcohol but are still on the right side of legal. In this case the drop in reaction times is a rather surprisingly small 12.5%.

In case you are wondering, it is not strictly illegal to use your phone, eat or drink while you are behind the wheel. However, police can charge you with careless driving if they think that the car is out of your control because of what you are doing. Anyway, after writing this I think I will be leaving my curly wurly bars at home in the future.

The study was carried out on behalf of esure, and an additional piece of research showed that 2 million UK drivers have had a crash or a near thing because they were driving with just one hand on the wheel.

 

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