The Effects of Food Packaging on Driving Performance When Eating While Driving

  • Swantje ZschernackEmail author
  • Chloe Bennett
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 823)


Background: Eating and drinking while driving are common forms of secondary tasks and are perceived as a lower risk by many drivers and received less attention in terms of safety of driving. Aim: Little is known about food packaging on the safety of driving; therefore, the aim of the study is to understand the effects of food packaging on driving performance when eating while driving. Method: The study compares two different types of packaging during driving, unpacking and driving and eating and driving in a simulator setting. A total of 12 participant ranging from 20–30 years Rhode University students were recruited. For each packaging condition participants were required to perform four activities (pure driving, unpacking of meal, eating of meal and a second session of pure driving) while driving and throughout tracking deviation and perceived control were measured. Each driving activity lasted for 3 min with 3 min breaks in between. Results: The results on the effects of food packaging on driving performance found that there were no statistical differences found between the packaging conditions (p > 0.05) for driving performance (tracking deviation), however there was statistical difference found between the packaging conditions for perceived control (p < 0.01). There were also statistical significances between the different activities (p < 0.05), highlighting unpacking of meal been the worst, followed by eating of meal and then the pure driving conditions. Conclusion: This study suggested that food packaging does not influence driving performance when eating while driving; meaning that driving is as dangerous with cardboard packaging as to paper wrapper packaging. the study suggests that people perceived driving performance differently.


Distraction Eating and driving Packaging Driving safety 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

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