The University of Leeds published a study called “Two Hands Better Than One”, which shows that eating while driving is more dangerous than using the phone.
Researchers show that reaction time of drivers while eating is up to 44% slower than usual, while having a drink while driving slowed reaction by 22% and a hands-free conversation 26.5%. The Automobile Association added that eating behind the wheel is dangerous and has caused serious injuries and thousands of dollars of damage. A previous study made by the British Transport Research Laboratory showed that alcohol at the legal limit slowed reaction times by 12.5%.
“We do see some really upsetting accidents, where drivers have unfortunately been distracted and not been able to slow down and a collision has occurred, and those are some very bad accidents,” said AA Insurance head of operations Martin Fox.
In January 2012 eating while driving was ranked the 8th biggest distraction behind the wheel. An accident involved a motorist who drove into a parked car while bending over to stop food falling in the car, resulting in a $10,310 claim.
* 44% slower reactions while eating
* 26.5% slower reactions using a hands-free phone
* 22% slower reactions if consuming a soft drink
* 12.5% slower reactions having drunk the legal limit