The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Eating or Drinking While Driving is Nearly as Dangerous as Texting Your Friends or Using Your Hands-Free Device

driving and eating (select to view enlarged photo)

SAN DIEGO--June 9, 2014: Morning commuters may look sharp in their business attire as they sip lattes on their way to work and talk on their hands-free phone, but these drivers are engaging in behavior that is as risky as teenage drivers updating social media on their smartphones from behind the wheel. Recent data from Lytx, a global leader in video-based driver safety technology, has found that eating or drinking while driving is nearly as dangerous as any cell phone distraction – handheld or hands-free, and greatly increases a driver's risk of being in or causing a collision.

"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 smartphones and tablets are among the leading causes of collisions. Everyone should think about that the next time they are unwrapping a burrito on the freeway. Getting into a collision and potentially causing serious injury simply isn't worth it."

Lytx's data found that:

Drivers with food or drink distractions are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who do not eat and drink while driving. Drivers using a hands-free device are 4.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who did not use their hands-free device. Drivers with smartphone or tablet distraction are 4.7 times more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who did not use their cellular handheld device.

These numbers should be enough to convince even the savviest of drivers that there is a compelling reason to avoid distractions while behind the wheel. During National Safety Month, we can all make a commitment to resist the temptation of eating or drinking while driving – it can save a life.

For over 15 years, Lytx has been the pioneer and leader in video-based safety. The company's flagship product, DriveCam powered by Lytx™ helps Lytx clients improve road safety and prevent collisions worldwide. The DriveCam® Program combines video with predictive analytics and a cloud-based platform to identify and address the causes of risky driving behavior, helping make our roads and neighborhoods safer every day.