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Have you eaten a sandwich while driving?
Yes, I have and I expect to do it again 70%  70%  [ 45 ]
No, I never have and never will 16%  16%  [ 10 ]
I have in the past, but I won't in the future 13%  13%  [ 8 ]
I never have, but I might in the future 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 64
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 Post subject: Eating at the wheel...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 02:46 
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Following on from the recent conviction of a motorist for eating a sandwich while driving: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12811

Have you / would you ever eat a sandwich while driving?

This poll has no expiry date.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:39 
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31 views and 4 votes? Come on folks!

If it helps, votes are anonymous - even we can't tell who cast them.

Or is there some other reason that lots of folk decline to answer this question?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:29 
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I took the third option but I think that a

Have in the past, but have not in some time and am unlikely to do it in the future

option would be a more accurate statement for me.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 15:06 
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I haven't - but only because of practicalities. If a take-away was held by a willing passenger I'm sure I'd have no troubles ;-)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 16:55 
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I guess they would class smoking at the wheel just the same...


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 19:41 
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No, should be worse! Can't burn your balls with a dropped hot dog. :juggle:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 21:39 
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Not a sandwich but a Ginsters pasty.

Might do so in the future in the right circumstances.

Have also aided and abetted the above (holding for the driver between bites).

Also had a nice mug of soup once one the M62, supplied by a friendly trucker. Traffic was at a standstill due to a massive pileup in fog at the time and I wasn't even in the car (in case anyone was worried).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 01:36 
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When conditions allow, there are lots of things you would have no worries about, which you would NOT attempt in heavy traffic - snow/icy conditions, urban traffic etc. etc.

Adjusting a mirror is best done when stationary - but if you have found you have moved the seat and it's slightly out halfway down the M6 because you forgot to adjust it before, then you look at the traffic, and decide whether you can safely make the adjustment.
Same with radio controls, heater, rear de-mister, or boiled sweets - you make a judgement - others might disagree with you. :(

Eating a sandwich should not be attempted without good reason by my book, but neither should you risk going hungry before you reach the next available stop if it maintains your alertness.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:05 
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Ernest Marsh wrote:
neither should you risk going hungry before you reach the next available stop if it maintains your alertness.

this has to be the most feeble excuse that people keep coming up with on here. It's not as though we're driving the kalahari or something. Is people's planning so bad that they can't work out whether they're going to need to eat or drink in the 10 minutes between services?
I hate to think how many of you are wearing nappies because you might need to go potty before the "next available stop".


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 14:38 
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Oh dear. I can barely believe the results of this poll. Don't you lot "get" that you go to a restaurant to eat - not the car.

All the rhetoric about momentary distraction from looking at the speedo while passing a speed camera is completely negated by this line of argument as it's not the act of eating that's the problem, it's:

- looking down to see what's available
- unwrapping the food
- screwing up wrappers
- being momentarily distracted

etc.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 15:38 
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malcolmw wrote:
All the rhetoric about momentary distraction from looking at the speedo while passing a speed camera is completely negated by this line of argument as it's not the act of eating that's the problem, it's:

- looking down to see what's available
- unwrapping the food
- screwing up wrappers
- being momentarily distracted

etc.

Not if you do it with premeditation, where you've already decided what's to eat, unwrapped the food and located it somewhere convenient to grab, bite, and return so that you only momentarily have one hand off the wheel, there's no wrappers to screw up, and your concentration isn't distracted from the road one jot.

With your food suitably arranged, you can pick the best time to take a bite - like in the early hours of the morning on a deserted motorway. In contrast, that involuntary stare at your speedo is dictated by the positioning of the camera (which are supposed to be located only in the most dangerous of locations).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 15:43 
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malcolmw wrote:
Oh dear. I can barely believe the results of this poll. Don't you lot "get" that you go to a restaurant to eat - not the car.


The most interesting thing I think is the very sharp division of opinion.

It looks to me as if we're all starting with beliefs and then constructing examples and situations to prove our points.

malcolmw wrote:
All the rhetoric about momentary distraction from looking at the speedo while passing a speed camera is completely negated by this line of argument...


I don't rate the speedo distraction argument very highly - it's true enough, but I doubt that it ranks as one of the larger side effects. I'm more inclined to use it as a familiar and easily understood shorthand for wider side effects, and I'm especially inclined to use it as a stick to beat the authorities with for failing to consider it.

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/speedo.html has a discussion of the issues.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 22:12 
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johnsher wrote:
Ernest Marsh wrote:
neither should you risk going hungry before you reach the next available stop if it maintains your alertness.

this has to be the most feeble excuse that people keep coming up with on here. It's not as though we're driving the kalahari or something. Is people's planning so bad that they can't work out whether they're going to need to eat or drink in the 10 minutes between services?
I hate to think how many of you are wearing nappies because you might need to go potty before the "next available stop".

As I said, I dont condone eating on the move, but if you were travelling from Carlisle to the South Coast to catch a continental ferry, and had been held up for a lengthy time in a jam, your schedule could be stretched a little.
IF IT WAS SAFE, I could understand that you might wish to push on so as not to miss your ferry, and forego a meal in a service station, and I do know some people need to eat or get "fretful". Maybe there is a medical explanation for this - thankfully I dont suffer! :)
I also have the luxury of being able to share the driving with my wife when on long journeys, and with two children, stops are essential to prevent trouble brewing in the back!!

In France, there are fewer services with facilities, but more places to stop and eat your own food. Not sure if this would work here or not, but I like the idea.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 23:01 
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Ernest Marsh wrote:
IF IT WAS SAFE, I could understand that you might wish to push on so as not to miss your ferry

well there we differ again, I wouldn't call pushing on on a long journey safe. I try to stop at least once every 2 hours if for nothing more than a 5 minute walk around to clear my head. There's also the small problem of needing to refuel on a 400+ mile journey and, of course, toilet breaks.
So, are you really telling me that it would be impossible to squeeze a quick sandwich or chocolate bar in there somewhere?

Ernest Marsh wrote:
In France, there are fewer services with facilities

I know, I once had to drive a whole 50km between services. It was absolutely appalling - I nearly dehydrated and almost starved to death as well. :roll: It could have been worse, in Australia you can go several hundred kilometres between towns. God knows how people cope out there.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 23:07 
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Lets cut to the chase and put all intuition and speculation aside. Where in the crash stats is eating/drinking/smoking at the wheel shown to cause a disproportionate hazard?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 23:11 
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So if I am tired I cannot opperate a switch for the air con or open a window as if you follow this logic I will crash as soon as I think of taking one finger off the wheel?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 23:35 
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johnsher wrote:
Ernest Marsh wrote:
IF IT WAS SAFE, I could understand that you might wish to push on so as not to miss your ferry

well there we differ again, I wouldn't call pushing on on a long journey safe. I try to stop at least once every 2 hours if for nothing more than a 5 minute walk around to clear my head. There's also the small problem of needing to refuel on a 400+ mile journey and, of course, toilet breaks.
So, are you really telling me that it would be impossible to squeeze a quick sandwich or chocolate bar in there somewhere?

Ernest Marsh wrote:
In France, there are fewer services with facilities, but more places to stop and eat your own food. Not sure if this would work here or not, but I like the idea.

I know, I once had to drive a whole 50km between services. It was absolutely appalling - I nearly dehydrated and almost starved to death as well. :roll: It could have been worse, in Australia you can go several hundred kilometres between towns. God knows how people cope out there.

Sorry, you seem to have truncated my sentence when you closed the quotation! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 23:35 
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RobinXe wrote:
Where in the crash stats is eating/drinking/smoking at the wheel shown to cause a disproportionate hazard?

first off, who's going to admit it? Secondly, nobody keeps stats on accidents. We do know that most accidents are rear-enders, so obviously caused by either driving too close, not paying attention or both.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 23:42 
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RobinXe wrote:
Lets cut to the chase and put all intuition and speculation aside. Where in the crash stats is eating/drinking/smoking at the wheel shown to cause a disproportionate hazard?


It's not there at all. I never hear about it. There was a high profile case about 4 or 5 years ago when a school teacher lost control while reaching for a mint.

But it's just about possible that we're missing on gathering the data, alhough I very much doubt it.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 23:42 
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Pastie on the shattered windscreen, probably eating at the wheel, don't you think?

The DfT keep accident stats.

If a rear-ender occurred then someone was driving too close, simple as that. Doesn't matter what else they were doing at the time, they did not give themselves enough room to react and brake. By that logic, taking your attention from the road for any task is safe so long as you increase the gap from the car in front.

Without facts to back up the assertion that 'eating at the wheel is inherently dangerous' all we have is speculation. Speculation is not something to build legislation or road-safety on.


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