Why Driving and Eating Don’t Mix
Everyone who’s ever gone on a road trip has decided to roll through a fast-food joint for some on-the-go munchies – it’s practically an American pastime! While this may seem like an innocent activity, it’s quite dangerous. Eating while driving is one of the leading causes of distracted driving (along with texting, pets, and scolding the kids in the backseat).
To understand why eating and driving is such a no-no, we need to understand the three types of distracted driving defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off driving
Eating food while driving checks the box of ALL THREE types of distracted driving! According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving kills about nine people each day in the United States and injures +1,000 more.
A few statistics on the dangers of eating and driving:
- According to NHTSA: eating/drinking while driving increases the chances of being in a car accident by 80%
- Distracted drivers who are eating or drinking make up 65% of near-miss car accidents
- Reaching food an object (or food) makes a driver eight times more likely to be involved in an accident
- A driver who is eating or drinking is three times more likely to be in an accident
While it’s unrealistic to expect folks not to eat while driving (especially given the size of the drive-through market), there are foods to be avoided. This list may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised what people eat when behind the wheel.
Avoid the following treats while cruising down the road:
Soup: Do us a favor – leave grannie’s homemade chicken noodle soup at home!
Sushi: If you can’t operate chopsticks while sitting in a restaurant, why attempt it while traveling at high speeds?
Buffalo Wings (or any BBQ): Slippery sauce and steering wheels don’t mix. Leave the BBQ for the backyard!
Chili dogs: One of the greatest American culinary inventions – but they’re as messy as they are delicious.
Tacos: Even if it’s National Taco Day, keep those shells out of the car!
Salads: Your ride isn’t the produce section; keep your salad in the fridge.
Burgers: Just because it’s the most eaten food while driving doesn’t mean it should be. Stick with fries.
Jelly Donuts: A coffee break staple that should be left in the break room, particularly on the way to a meeting.
Fried Chicken: Bones belong in the trash, not the back of your car.
Coffee: Nothing screams accident like spilling hot liquid on yourself while flying down the freeway.
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