Drivers caught eating an apple, map-reading or listening to loud music face rises of up to £200 on their motor premiums. Many leading insurers are becoming stricter by checking if motorists have been caught acting in such a 'distracted' way when calculating quotes.
Insurers now ask potential clients if they have any driving convictions including for distracted behaviour which is known as a CD10 offence. One example shows annual cover quoted at £470 but when a CD10 conviction is added there would be an increase of £188 which is 40 percent. Some companies are now refusing to cover motorists who are guilty of a CD10 offence. This conviction can range from sipping from a bottle of water, tuning the radio, snacking and even arguing with a passenger.
Ian Crowder, for the AA which acts as a broker for more than 20 insurers, said: 'We're all guilty of eating or drinking behind the wheel but the fact is it can be dangerous. 'There is a direct correlation between those convicted of driving without due care and attention and fatal accidents. Insurance is a very black and white issue and the job of insurers is identifying customers who pose as possible risks.
Each year, around 25,300 drivers are convicted of 'driving without due care and attention' and punished by the courts with £60 fines and three penalty points.