Avoid £100 fine!

We are all acutely aware about the rules of the road when it comes to drinking alcohol and driving, but what about the legalities of eating and driving?

Did you know? …..

Interestingly, there are no specific laws covering eating or drinking while driving, yet you can be fined £100 and given 3 penalty points if the police consider you to be distracted or carelessly driving.

So, what do the experts say ….

A study from the University of Leeds found that reaction times of motorists were up to 44 per cent slower while eating. Yet a yourmoney.com study showed that over 40% of drivers admit to eating whilst behind the wheel.

Our Vavista driving expert, Paul, comments: “As well as decreasing reaction times, some studies have shown eating and drinking while driving can be even more dangerous than drink driving.”

However, as pointed out by the RAC, despite risks of being fined it’s important to stay hydrated as dehydration can make you more prone to having an accident.

Dr Sally Norton adds:  “Hydration is key to concentration.   Just a drop of 2% in hydration can reduce your attention, concentration, coordination and memory skills – not forgetting those dehydration headaches. If your journey is a long one, have a drink and a bite to eat before you leave or plan scheduled stops on the journey. It’s important that you stay hydrated and fed but getting to your destination in one piece is also vital!”

How can the police tell if I’m eating or drinking in the car?

Speed cameras have already been developed that allow the police to see if you are eating or drinking.

Police have even started to stop drivers if spotted eating or drinking while driving, alongside their campaign for fighting mobile usage.

  • One case involved a woman who was spotted eating an apple and not being properly in control of her vehicle – she was fined £60 plus costs
  • A lady in Dorset was fined £145 for peeling a banana and given 3 points as part of the local campaign dubbed “No Excuse” designed to target people driving in a careless manner

So, for the sake of waiting those extra few minutes, would you risk a criminal charge for having a snack on your way home from work?



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Rac.co.uk. Can you smoke or eat while driving and other driving myths answered | RAC Drive. [online] Available at: https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/know-how/driving-myths-your-questions-answered/ .

Smith, L. Can you eat or drink while driving, is it illegal and can you be fined?. [online] Express.co.uk. Available at: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1034854/eating-drinking-driving-law-fine-UK.

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