Document Type : Research Paper


Civil Engineering Dept., University of Technology-Iraq, Alsina’a street, 10066 Baghdad, Iraq.


The increase in the number of traffic accidents, deaths, and injuries is a major concern for traffic and safety professionals. Distraction from the road is common, but increases safety concerns. Drivers engage in many behaviors that are a distraction from the task of driving, and these sources may be inside or outside the vehicle. The driver may not have a clear idea of the negative impact of such activities on achieving safe driving. The paper focused on one type of distraction that occurs inside the car, the factor of eating while driving in order to address the question of whether such activities cause anxiety. The effect of eating while driving as an additional task (dual task) compared to driving baseline (single task) on each driver's performance and safety was studied. This research was conducted at the University of Technology-Iraq uses a fixed and medium accuracy driving simulator. To measure driver performance, the driver's ability to maintain a set speed limit was tested. For safety, the driver's ability to avoid accidents was measured. The highway environment scenario was adopted to perform driving experiences for the 42 participants, the length of the road was 15 km, and the driving experience took (30) minutes at a rate of (10-15) minutes for each driving task. The results revealed a decrease in the mean journey speed of all participants during the (dual driving) experiment compared to the results of the mean journey speed (single driving). The speed of females decreased more than males. The youngest age group (19-29) years led at a faster rate than the age groups (30-39), (40-49), and (50-55). No accidents were recorded during the baseline driving task. In the dual driving task, females recorded a higher number of accidents than males. The youth category (19-29) was characterized by recording the largest number of accidents.


  • Food and drink intake are a major driving distraction which evaluated using driving simulator.
  • Drivers mental work is affected with dual tasks of driving and food intake.
  • Driving risk is increased as drivers increased distraction due to food and drink intake.
  • The result of current work emphasizes the effect of distractions on driving performance. 


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