Earlier this month saw a mum getting prosecuted for eating a banana whilst at the wheel of her car. In her words she was treated like a criminal.
The Dorset policeman put her in the back of his car and told her in no-uncertain terms what a danger she was to other drivers
Eating while driving is not a specific offence. However, anyone distracted behind the wheel or failing to operate their vehicle correctly because they are eating could be committing an offence of driving without due care and attention, or not being in proper control of a vehicle.
The reaction times of motorists who indulged in a snack while driving were up to 44 per cent slower than usual, researchers at the University of Leeds found. When sipping a drink, responses were up to 22 per cent slower and drivers 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 the legal limit slowed reaction times by 12.5 per cent.
A hands-free mobile phone conversation slowed reaction times by 26.5 per cent. This led me to research the impact of smoking whilst driving which incidentally is also not a crime (unless you have minors in the car which became an offence as of October 2015). Well when I say research, I use the term lightly based on so few facts / stories / incidents…. But why? Surely its dangerous, as smokers only have one hand on the wheel, they are distracted with hot ash. Wind can blow the butt end of the cigarette off resulting in singing or burning of items
I have also heard of cases where cigarettes have been thrown out the car in front but entered the car behind, which has resulted in a near miss catastrophe
The Highway Code states drivers should avoid distractions such as eating, drinking, loud music, trying to read maps, smoking, and arguing with passengers or other road users.
I quote a fireman when he said he agrees the act of smoking whilst driving is extremely dangerous
So as you are reading this you are agreeing, why then is it accepted that the distraction of taking one hand off the wheel whilst holding a potential ignition source is ok whilst the smoker constantly takes their eyes off the road to steer the ash in the right direction? …. not to mention the littering issue!!!