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- 84 per cent of female UK motorists are skipping meals and driving on an empty stomach –

Embargoed until 00:01 on Monday 19th May 2008 – Research out today reveals that more than three quarters (84 per cent) of female motorists drive whilst hungry, despite the fact that nearly half (43 per cent) admit that it causes them to lose concentration and for 40 per cent, it increases their tiredness on the road.

The research, conducted by female-friendly car insurer Sheilas’ Wheels, reveals the top reasons women are not eating before getting behind the wheel:
1. Slips their mind until their journey has started (34 per cent)
2. Hectic lifestyle (28 per cent)
3. Don’t like driving when full (12 per cent)
4. Dieting (5 per cent)

But it’s not only the female motorists who skip meals and drive hungry that are putting themselves and their passengers in danger...56 per cent of women drivers admit that they break the law1 by snacking behind the wheel in order to save time.

Consequently, it is estimated that more than 370,000 female motorists (2 per cent) have experienced an accident or ‘near miss’ when snacking, as they frequently take their hands off the wheel to unwrap or eat food. And almost half of women (46 per cent) admit to unwrapping sweets while they are driving.

The most common reasons cited by women for eating whilst driving include: convenience (40 per cent), lack of time to eat at home (32 per cent), enjoyment (13 per cent) and boredom (9 per cent).

Unsurprisingly, busy mums find it particularly hard to keep from snacking when behind the wheel – almost a quarter (24 per cent) of mums prioritise ensuring their kids have eaten a proper meal before they leave the house but only a worrying 6 per cent make sure they don’t get behind the wheel with an empty stomach.

Even when planning a longer journey, only 14 per cent of women will factor in time for a break which will allow them to get out of their car and eat, and a mere 3 per cent think about eating appropriate food – like slow releasing energy foods - to keep them satisfied before embarking on a journey.

Gloria Thomas, lifestyle coach and fitness expert, commented:
“For some women maintaining busy lifestyles and organising their time efficiently can be a real challenge. To combat their time poor lifestyles, female motorists are using their car as an extended space to catch up on the every-day necessities, such as eating, or perhaps even worse, they are driving on an empty stomach.”

Gloria Thomas has compiled five top tips to avoid skipping meals and snacking whilst driving:

• Make time management part of your daily routine so that you are not forced to eat on the go. Prioritise tasks at the beginning of the day, factoring in time to eat a well balanced meal
• Don’t forget to stop regularly for breaks if you are on a long journey and make sure you eat well before setting off
• To avoid temptation, put all food in the boot of your car so that it is out of your reach once behind the wheel
• Before you head off on your journey, eat foods that will give you energy and keep you fully alert, such as porridge, roasted vegetables, fresh salads and juices
• Where possible, travel with someone you can share the driving with so that you are able to eat when you are not in the driving seat

Jacky Brown at Sheilas’ Wheels car insurance commented:
“Today’s modern woman is constantly on the go and has an increasingly busy lifestyle, which is why we are appealing to all female motorists to take the time to properly plan their car journeys before leaving the house. Eat before you step into your car and try to stick to foods that will enhance your concentration and driving ability. Driving with a rumbling stomach or a whilst eating a sandwich or chocolate bar can only spell disaster.”

For more tips on how to manage your time and diet when driving, visit www.sheilaswheels.com and click onto ‘Helpful Resources’.

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About Sheilas’ Wheels comprehensive car insurance:

• Handbag cover – provides cover for up to £300 for handbags stolen from the car
• Free courtesy car offered as standard – provided the car is being repaired by one of Sheilas’ Wheels recommended repairers.
• No claims discount (NCD) up to a maximum of 75% - policyholders with 5 years or more NCD will immediately get a 70% discount and can then earn an extra 1% discount per year for the next 5 claim-free years with esure.
• Motoring Legal Protection – for £21.99 policyholders will be provided with up to £50,000 of cover for legal assistance to help them recover uninsured losses.
• Breakdown cover – 24-hour breakdown assistance service provided by Green Flag. For an optional extra, policyholders can take out breakdown cover that ranges from basic roadside assistance to a full service covering roadside assistance, home rescue and recovery.

For further information please contact the Sheilas’ Wheels press office at Mischief PR on 020 7100 9999 or email sheilaswheels@mischiefpr.com

Visit the media centre: www.sheilaswheels.com
Visit the official fansite for Sheilas’ Wheels: www.ilovesheilas.com

An ISDN line is available for radio interviews.
Notes to Editors:
Sheilas’ Wheels used the independent online research company MyVoice who surveyed 1,000 of the UK’s female drivers, from across the country aged 18 and over, on 28th March 2008.
Number of female motorists with provisional and full licenses – 18,970,948. Based on DVLA research, January 2006.
1 Road Traffic Legislation: Regulation 104 (Driver has failed to exercise full control of the vehicle)
About Sheilas’ Wheels:

Sheilas’ Wheels was launched in October 2005 to offer women drivers cheaper car insurance and product enhancements including £300 handbag cover - for bags stolen from the car (comprehensive cover only) - competitive breakdown recovery rates, a dedicated counselling line run by trained professionals to help customers cope with driving issues such as road rage (comprehensive cover only), and a network of female-friendly repairers. In February 2008, the brand moved beyond car insurance, to also offer home insurance.

Sponsorship:

Sheilas' Wheels sponsors the ITV National weather: “Whether skies are grey or blue, Sheilas’ Wheels could cover you.”

About Gloria Thomas:

Gloria Thomas (www.gloriathomas.co.uk) has had extensive experience in areas of Mental and Emotional Wellbeing and Personal Development as well as Physical Fitness. As a life coach and psychotherapist, she advises on time management and stress issues as well as health and general wellbeing.

Gloria Thomas currently practices at The Third Space medicine, an integrated medical centre in Soho.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Mischief PR in the following categories: Women's Interest & Beauty, Motoring, Food & Drink, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.