Admiral reveals the UK's in-car eating habits

From: Admiral
Published: Wed Mar 27 2013

Admiral research has revealed two thirds of motorists eat when behind the wheel despite most drivers thinking it's dangerous and should be illegal. Almost one in six (15%) motorists have also crashed or had a near miss as a result of in-car eating.

The survey of 2,000 motorists by Admiral has shown that while two thirds of drivers have eaten when driving, for one in twelve it’s commonplace with them doing so between five and ten times a week.

Admiral's study also revealed three quarters (77%) of British motorists believe eating when driving is dangerous and more than half (55%) think it should be against the law to eat behind the wheel of a car.

More shockingly the study found almost one in six (15%) motorists have crashed or had a near miss as a result of eating behind the wheel.

Admiral managing director, Sue Longthorn, said: "Eating while driving is not specifically illegal in the UK but motorists can find themselves charged with careless driving if police don’t think they are in control of their vehicle as a result.

"Any activity that involves taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel will distract you from the job in hand, so if you're going to eat in the car, you should always park up."

Most motorists (26%) snack between meals in the car but for many eating in the car is about proper meals too. 12% said they eat breakfast, 9% eat lunch and 4% even eat their evening meal in the car.

The most common thing to be eaten behind the wheel is chocolate, followed by crisps and sandwiches, but ready meals and pasta also made it into the top ten of foods most often eaten in the car.

Some drivers admitted eating more unusual meals behind the wheel, including soup, Chinese takeaway, pavlova, pot noodle, roast dinners, sushi, burritos and even lobster.

While most people (27%) who dine in the car said they park up to eat, large numbers of drivers are also eating on the move whether that's on the motorway (22%), on residential streets (17%) or on country roads (9%).

So why are Britain's drivers eating on the move? Two fifths (41%) eat in the car just because they're hungry, a quarter (26%) eat in the car to save time in the morning and 15% say they eat in the car as it’s the only chance they get.

Sue continued: "Things like pot noodles and pavlovas are extreme examples of what drivers have eaten in their car but no matter how small or manageable your food seems to be, it is still a distraction.

"Even reaching for a chocolate bar or opening a bag of crisps can be dangerous so if you're hungry, always park up to eat."


Editors Notes
The survey of 2,000 motorists was undertaken for Admiral by OnePoll in March 2013.

About Admiral:
Admiral, (a trading name of EUI Ltd) launched in 1993, and is part of Admiral Group plc. It was set up to target those motorists who traditionally pay higher than average premiums, including those under-35, living in cities or driving hot hatches. It now offers its unique Admiral MultiCar policy for households with two or more cars.

Admiral writes its motor insurance business to a consortium of insurers, these being:
- Admiral Car Insurance Company Ltd
- Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited
- Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) plc

The Admiral Group employs almost 5,000 people in the UK.

Admiral Group was named the best large place to work in the UK by the Great Place to Work Institute in 2012.

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