While it is a well known fact that driving while talking on a mobile is dangerous, a new study has suggested that even eating or fiddling with the satnav may be similarly dangerous as it distracts the mind.
Taking a sip of a drink, smoking, or even touching a satnav could be as unsafe as talking on a mobile phone, the Daily Mail reported.
AdvertisementThe study found that reaction times lengthened by 44 per cent while eating and 22 per cent while drinking, compared to driving with both hands.
Drivers were also 18 per cent more vulnerable to swerve into a neighbouring lane while drinking.
Scientists have estimated that two million drivers have had an accident or near-miss as they were driving with one hand.
The study by the University of Leeds evaluated nine drivers in a simulator while they were eating, drinking, using a phone and driving with one or two hands.
Unwrapping food or tipping a bottle up to take a drink led to the greatest delay in reaction times, because these tasks took drivers' eyes off the road.
Participants made the most corrections to their steering when talking on a phone.