Don’t Eat and Drive
Believe it or not, eating while driving is more dangerous than using a cell phone behind the wheel. In a recent study by ExxonMobil, 70 percent of the 1,000 drivers surveyed admitted to eating while driving and a staggering 83 percent admitted to drinking beverages behind the wheel. Another study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that those who eat or drink while driving increase their odds of having an accident by almost 80 percent – this percentage is higher than cell phone use.
Dangerous Foods to Avoid Behind the Wheel
While we should never eat and drive, or participate in any distracting activities, some foods are much more dangerous to eat while driving than others. Messy foods are often dangerous as our instinct kicks in to immediately clean up the mess and drinking beverages out of a can or bottle can very easily take our eyes right off the road. Think about driving to work in the morning – if your coffee spills in your lap, are you 100 percent focused on the road, or are you grabbing for napkins while you drive?
Even though you may think grabbing a bottle of water or picking up a hot coffee while you are out driving is not a dangerous habit, it definitely is. When we drink from bottles, cans, or coffee mugs, it is unavoidable for our eyes to go off the road. If that wasn’t reason enough to stop drinking while driving, think about what happens when those drinks spill – we want to clean up the mess and dry up the liquid as soon as possible to not damage the car’s interior, all the while we are not focused on the road ahead.
Filled or Powdered Donuts
So if the danger of spilling coffee was not enough to stop you from picking up breakfast, maybe you should consider what could happen with filled or powdered donuts. Out of all the donuts, filled and powdered are probably the messiest and the most dangerous to eat behind the wheel. What if the filling oozes out all over your perfectly clean work pants? What if powder falls all over your shirt, pants, and car interior? Odds are you will reach down to clean it out of instinct, taking your focus off the road.
Burgers and Barbeque
When hunger strikes on a long road trip, the first thing we all want is something delicious and fast, which usually translates to burgers or barbeque through the drive thru window. The problem with these foods is that they are hand-held, meaning both of your hands will not be on the wheel. Additionally, they are another messy food, so dripping sauce, cheese, or other toppings onto yourself or the car’s interior will be a huge distraction from driving. Your best choice in this situation is to pull over and eat while parked.
*Photo Courtesy of Sam Beebe via Creative Commons License