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UK Study: Two-Thirds of Drivers Eat and Drive

April 10, 2013

Recently released research has revealed two-thirds of UK motorists eat when behind the wheel despite most believing it's dangerous and should be illegal. Almost one in six (15 percent) motorists surveyed also admitted crashing or having a near miss as a result of in-car eating.

The survey of 2,000 motorists by Admiral has shown that while two-thirds of drivers have eaten when driving, for one in 12 it's commonplace with them doing so between five and 10 times a week.

Admiral's study also revealed three quarters (77 percent) of British motorists believe eating when driving is dangerous and more than half (55 percent) think it should be against the law to eat behind the wheel of a car.

Admiral Managing Director Sue Longthorn said: "Eating while driving is not specifically illegal in the UK, but motorists can find themselves charged with careless driving if police don't think they are in control of their vehicle as a result. Any activity that involves taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel will distract you from the job in hand, so if you're going to eat in the car, you should always park up."

Most motorists (26 percent) snack between meals in the car but for many eating in the car is about proper meals too. A total of 12 percent said they eat breakfast, 9 percent eat lunch, and 4 percent eat their evening meal in the car.

The most common thing to be eaten behind the wheel is chocolate, followed by chips, and sandwiches, but ready-made meals and pasta also made it into the top 10 of foods most often eaten while driving.

Some drivers admitted eating more unusual meals behind the wheel, including soup, Chinese takeaway, pavlova, pot noodle, roast dinners, sushi, burritos, and even lobster, according to the report.

While most people (27 percent) who dine in the car said they park and eat, large numbers (22 percent) of drivers are also eating on the move whether that's on the motorway, on residential streets (17 percent) or on country roads (9 percent).

The survey of 2,000 motorists was undertaken for Admiral by OnePoll in March 2013.

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