According to a new study, eating whilst at the wheel is more dangerous than using a mobile phone or being over the alcohol limit.

Researchers at the University of Leeds have found that reaction times of motorists who eat at the wheel were up to 44 per cent slower than usual.  When drinking, responses were up to 22 per cent slower and driver were 18 per cent more likely to experience poor lane control.

By comparison, studies undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory found that motorists who used their phones to send text messages were 37.4 per cent slower to react while alcohol at legal limit slowed reaction times by 12.5 per cent.

A hands-free mobile phone conversation slowed reaction times by 26.5 per cent.

Eating, drinking and smoking while driving is not illegal in the UK but drivers can be charged with careless driving if police believe they are not in control of the vehicle.

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