The Risks of Eating and Driving

21 October 2016 - By Eugene Herbert

Distracted driving covers a broad range of risky behaviours that
ultimately diverts a driver’s attention from what he or she should be focusing
on - driving. One under-identified distraction is eating or drinking while
driving. While seemingly innocent actions, those who eat or drink while driving
are putting themselves and other drivers at risk.


Driving while eating or drinking, relative to driving without distraction,
can increase crash risk by about 70%, according to experts. The behaviour also
ranks just below holding a cell phone or talking on a hand-held cell phone when
it comes to prevalence of behaviours that distract drivers, according to a
studies.


We all need to  realise  that eating and driving is certainly
a distraction just like anything else, and that anything that takes one’s
attention off of the road is distracting, so it’s important for drivers
 to know that distractions aren’t just limited to cell phones.


Distracted Demographics


Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) in the US found drivers
between the ages of 40 and 50 were observed to be eating or drinking more than
other age groups that were monitored in the study where drivers were video recorded
while driving. This was followed by young adults ages 20 to 30, then teenagers
ages 16 to 17, and, lastly, older drivers ages 60 to 70.


It was further found that a larger portion of drivers were eating or
drinking when they were alone rather than when they were driving with
passengers.


However, drivers that are involved in distracted driving behaviours tend
to restrict the amount of multitasking they do, and may opt for manipulating a
cell phone rather than eating or drinking.







Preventing the Accident


While it is true that improved vehicle safety technology will curtail
the number of distracted-driving-related accidents drivers must still accept
personal responsibility for how they drive.


When it comes to other kinds of distracting behaviours, it’s becoming
harder for people to know specifically what they’re not supposed to be doing
when law enforcement doesn’t even ‘police’ properly that which is legislated.
Soon though we trust that legislation will take cognizance of the broader
aspects of distraction – particularly that of new cell technology – and correct
the matter.


Till next time - Drive Safe and Stay Away from the distractions.


Eugene Herbert



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