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'Eating and driving' Britons warned

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Many motorists may be risking safety and higher car insurance premiums by eating and drinking at the wheel, a new study has suggested.

A survey by Kia Motors found nearly six out of 10 (56%) people snack while driving, with 38% admitting they always eat or drink when on the road.

An average of 4,000 calories is consumed every week by motorists, chocolate and fizzy drinks being the favourite food items.

More than two-thirds (45%) said they ate or drank when driving because they did not have time at home, while 43% did so to relieve boredom.

Around 15% of Britons had their morning cup of tea or coffee at the wheel, 10% ate a sandwich, while a further 10% frequently dipped into packets of crisps.

Kia Motors UK communications director Steve Kitson said: "While consuming food and drink at the wheel is not currently illegal, the law takes a very dim view of any activity that compromises a driver's focus on the road.

"It is much safer either to build in time before leaving home or to take a break during your journey. Trying to concentrate on the road ahead and stay vigilant of other motorists while eating and drinking inevitably compromises a driver's reaction time and focus."

© Press Association 2010