The data released by Lytx Europe, a specialist in delivering driver safety and compliance solutions for commercial fleets, finds that drivers who eat and drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision than those who do not due to the distraction this causes.
This is almost as high as the collisions resulting from use of a mobile device while driving: the firm’s data shows that drivers using a hands-free device are 4.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision and those using a smartphone or tablet are 4.7 times more likely to be involved in a collision compared to drivers who did not.
Earlier this year Brake released research in partnership with Direct Line that found more than six in ten (62%) drivers have eaten at the wheel in the past year whilst one in 50 (2%) has narrowly avoided a crash in the past year as a result.
‘I see people eating while driving almost every day. What we’ve learned is that this type of distraction is nearly as dangerous as talking or texting on your phone,’ said Del Lisk, vice president of Safety Services for Lytx. ‘We know that distracted driving is a significant factor in vehicle collisions, and our predictive analytics show that distractions such as eating and drinking or use of smartphones and tablets are among the leading causes of collisions. Everyone should consider that the next time they think about eating behind the wheel. Getting into a collision and potentially causing serious injury simply isn’t worth it.’