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The University of Leeds recently published a study titled ‘Two Hands Better Than One’ that showed that eating while driving is more dangerous than using a phone while driving, or drinking while driving.
By using a driving simulator, the UK-based study found that driver reaction time increased by 44 percent while eating behing the wheel. While drinking from a bottle or can behind the wheel, reactions time increase 22 percent. A 37 percent increase in time was found for drivers texting and piloting their car. Surprisingly, a 0.08 blood alcohol level only increased reaction times by 12.5 percent.
Most of this may seem to be common sense, but distracted driving has become a major issue and studies are showing that it’s more than just texting and driving that has become deadly. Raising awareness that eating while driving is even more distracting than texting and driving sheds some light on an activity that some of us are probably guilty of doing behind the wheel on an almost daily basis.
You look at the survey headline: “86 Percent Of Teen Drivers Are Distracted.” Of course, you go right to the evils of the cell phone – talking, texting, sending and reading email – or using advanced in-car features. Results from a survey conducted by AAA and Seventeen magazine found that 86 percent of those polled drove distracted – but they consider adjusting the radio and eating in the car as distractions.
In its survey of 2,000 drivers ages 16-19, the two distractions that teens engaged in most were adjusting the radio (73 percent) and eating (61 percent). Coming in third was talking on a cell phone ( 60 percent).
Cell phone use is also more common with the current generation of teens, and many studies have found that using a cell is distracting whether you’re using a handset or hands-free device.
And texting isn’t lost in this survey – thought to be one of the riskiest behaviours to partake in behind the wheel. About 28 percent of respondents admitted to texting while driving. This number may not seem as high as the others, but it should be noted that this 28 percent averaged sending 23 texts a month.
[Source: Kicking Tires]