The Co-operative Motor Group warns drivers after survey into on-the-road eating habits...
One in five drivers tuck into a snack, or even munch their way through a whole meal while sat behind the wheel, research by The Co-operative Motor Group has found.
And the trend is becoming so widespread that many people admit to eating on their way both to and from work.
Most are happy to help themselves to a sandwich or crisps, but the research revealed wide differences in the types of food enjoyed by people in different occupational groups and various parts of the country.
More than half of drivers admitted to biting into a sandwich while behind the wheel, and nearly as many said when it came to the crunch, they couldn't resist opening a packet of crisps on their travels.
While people may be tucking in while driving to try to save themselves time, Tony Guest, Managing Director of The Co-operative Motor Group, said accident statistics bore out the need for people to stay totally focused on what was happening in front of and around them while driving.
"Our research shows how lots of drivers are clearly not concentrating on the road ahead," said Mr Guest, who heads one of the leading independent groups of UK car dealers. "We recognise that modern life leaves very little spare time, but it is vital to be focused all the time while driving.
"According to RoSPA*, more than 300 deaths a year involve someone being 'careless, reckless or in a hurry', and 40 per cent of road crashes involve someone who 'failed to look properly' – figures that we would all like to see much lower," Mr Guest added.
Some drivers couldn't even wait to get their grocery shopping home before opening some of their purchases and helping themselves as they drove – a finding which Mr Guest, who oversees garages which specialise in new Nissan cars as well as many other best-selling makes, said was "shocking".
And he added: "While it isn't against the law to eat, motorists can, and have been, charged with careless driving or not being in proper control of their vehicle."
So he said The Co-operative Motor Group's message to drivers was to stay in control of their hunger, rather than risk losing control of their car and regretting the consequences.
* Total number of drivers registered in the UK – 35,515,488. One fifth equals 7,103,097
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About The Co-operative Motor Group:
The Co-operative Motor Group is part of The Co-operative Group, one of the largest retail co-operatives in Europe and one of the top 45 motor groups in the UK. The group represents 10 major motor manufacturers; Renault, Nissan, Land Rover, Range Rover, Mazda, Peugeot, Fiat, Suzuki, Chrysler and Jeep, operating out of 23 showrooms in the North West, Yorkshire and The Midlands.
For further information contact:
Phone: 01274 377300
Fax: 01274 377330