Be sure your drivers, other employees are aware of these hazards

Recent data from Lytx, Inc., a manufacturer of video-based driver safety technology used by commercial fleets, has found that eating or drinking while driving is nearly as dangerous as any cell phone distraction--handheld or hands-free--and greatly increases a driver's risk of being in or causing a collision.

"I see people eating while driving almost every day. What we've learned is that this type of distraction is nearly as dangerous as talking or texting on your phone," said Del Lisk, vice president of Safety Services for Lytx. "We know that distracted driving is a significant factor in vehicle collisions, and our predictive analytics show that distractions such as eating and drinking or smartphones and tablets are among the leading causes of collisions. Everyone should think about that the next time they are unwrapping a burrito on the freeway. Getting into a collision and potentially causing serious injury simply isn't worth it."

Lytx's data found that:

  • Drivers with food or drink distractions are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who do not eat and drink while driving.
  • Drivers using a hands-free device are 4.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who did not use their hands-free device.
  • Drivers with smartphone or tablet distraction are 4.7 times more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who did not use their cellular handheld device.

Distracted Driving Near-Collisions Double on Sunny Days

Lyxt also released data revealing that more drivers are apt to engage in distracted driving when weather conditions are clear than during inclement weather. In fact, your chances of having a near-collision while driving nearly doubles in good weather conditions.

"We have concluded that drivers are not as alert and may engage in distracted driving more often when the weather is clear," says Lisk. "We have released this data to remind drivers the perils of distracted driving and importance to drive alert regardless of the weather conditions."

Lytx analytics experts studied more than 2.5 billion miles driven from September 2011 to April 2013. The data found the ratio of near-collision incidents is 8.6 to 1 in clear weather compared to 4.6 to 1 in inclement weather.