A British study commissioned by an insurance company has determined that noshing behind the wheel doubles the likelihood that a driver will get into an accident. Brunel University researchers put subjects through the paces using driving simulators to arrive at the conclusion.

First, they took virtual rides through an urban route without eating or drinking anything. After that, they repeated the task while sucking down bagged snacks and bottled water. Reseachers found that even though the drivers compensated by slowing down, they still couldn't react quickly enough to avoid colliding with the simulation's virtual pedestrians. In fact, 90% of the crashes recorded occured during the act of eating or drinking.

Dr. Mark Young, the lead researcher, says that the circumstances surrounding eating and drinking while driving make those activities more dangerous than other "menial in-car tasks."

We understand the good doctor's reasoning and generally agree with what he has to say, but we'd like to know if his list of "menial in-car tasks" includes "finding a song three menus deep on an iPod," because while we're not university researchers, we're pretty sure that's way more distracting than reaching into a bag of M&Ms.

Finally, we'd be interested in using the research sims to recreate a typical morning interstate commute sans coffee. We're guessing that the elimination of that particular piping-hot, crotch-threatening caffeinated beverage from the cupholder could result in pileups reminiscent of the ones in the most dramatic CHiPs episodes.

Photo courtesy of Seriouswheels.com

[Source: 4Car]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X