Drivers with certain foods in car could face £5k fines and 9 points on licence

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Motorists are being cautioned that they could be hit with fines as steep as £5,000 for eating behind the wheel, according to an insurance specialist. Drivers are urged to reconsider snacking in their vehicles to sidestep the heightened risk of accidents and potential penalties.

As drivers frequent drive-thrus, specialists at One Sure Insurance are highlighting the perils associated with grabbing a coffee or bite while driving. The experts at One Sure Insurance have said: "As the weather continues to pour, we tend to see drivers popping to the drive-thru for a warm bite to eat."

They've clarified that while it's not against the law to eat while driving, the real problem arises if the driver loses full control of the vehicle, posing a danger to themselves, other road users, and pedestrians. For careless driving, offenders can face immediate fines of £100 and three points on their licence.

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In more severe instances, courts have imposed fines up to £5,000, handed out nine penalty points, and issued driving bans. Section 148 of The Highway Code lists "eating and drinking" among distractions that should be avoided, equating it with other activities such as reading a map or engaging in heated discussions with passengers.

The insurance brokers further warned: "Eating often involves using one hand and focusing away from the road, affecting concentration and reaction times. If you think you will be tempted to eat on the go, I recommend scheduling time for meals and snacks before or after driving to avoid the temptation of eating while on the road.", reports Birmingham Live.

"If you're on a long journey and feel hungry," they added. "Find a safe place to pull over and enjoy your meal or snack. This way you will ensure you remain safe while driving and avoid putting others in danger while you eat."

"If you need to grab a quick bite, opt for drive-thru restaurants or pull into a rest area where you can safely park and enjoy your food," explains the experts. "If you must eat while driving," they add, "ensure your food is easily accessible and doesn't require extensive unwrapping or handling."

"Police warn that even a short lapse in concentration can lead to serious consequences for road users, so you want to ensure your snack won't lead to eyes off the road." Chris explained: "Remember, the road should always be your main priority."

"Minimise distractions and avoid engaging in any activity that takes your attention away from driving."

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