Similar to using mobile phones while driving, eating while driving also increases the required response time by 40%, and hence the chances of causing fatal accidents. In fact, the response time required when you eat as you drive is slightly higher than the time required when you use mobile phones while driving. As against drinking while, driving requires only 22% additional time to respond to an emergency.
There are no specific provisions in the law that prohibits consumption of food while driving, but distractive driving provisions may allow police to hand over penalties when they catch you eating behind the wheel or when you cause accident or a similar situation.
In drink driving, you may have consumed alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel and can keep both their hands on the wheel as you drive. On the contrary eating behind the wheel requires you to drive with one hand, as the other hand will have to unwrap the packed food or put food into your mouth. In the process, you take your eyes of the road, and get distracted which may lead to accidents.
Two hands are better than one. Driving with one hand, you may not have complete control of wheel and the situation, so you may not respond swiftly to the emergencies on the road. According to a survey, about 70% of drivers who eat or drink behind the wheel nearly missed crashes, while increasing the chance of fatal accidents by 80%.
In the modern day busy life, you may not have time to eat before you start for work, or for school, however, reaching your destination a few minutes late is better than being involved in a fatal accident. Alternatively, it is highly recommended that you start well in advance and eat at home before you start. In case you feel hungry in the middle of a trip, you had better pull over at a hotel, restaurant and eat, so, you can drive without distractions, etc.
As there are no specific provisions of penalties against eating while driving, the issue is ignored and many resort to eating while driving, as it is their fundamental right. However, such attitude may put the fundamental right of safety of life of the driver, the passengers, and of the others on the road at risk.