How dangerous is eating while driving?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Distracted driving of all varieties is very dangerous. While the titular distracted driver may be the teenager trying to post to social media while operating a moving motor vehicle, this is likely not the most common form of distracted driving.

Millions of Americans eat behind the wheel every single day of the week. While this might seem innocuous, it is actually extraordinarily dangerous. According to Decide to Drive, eating while driving can increase your risk of crash or near crash by almost 40%.

What foods are the most dangerous?

It is dangerous to consume anything while driving, as it takes your attention away from the road in front of you. However, it is also true that some foods and beverages are more likely to appear in crashes than others.

Some foods that are statistically more likely to show up at a crash include coffee, chocolate, tacos, barbecued food and hamburgers. Of course, correlation is not causation. If you elect to eat a turkey leg while driving instead of a taco, this is not going to reduce your risk of a crash.

How can I avoid eating behind the wheel?

Sometimes, better time management can help you avoid trying to eat a meal while you are driving. Setting your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier in the morning can be the difference between enjoying a breakfast at your kitchen table and trying to eat a breakfast burrito while navigating rush hour traffic.

For longer trips, consider packing a picnic lunch rather than going to a fast food drive-thru. Not only will pulling off to a rest area to enjoy your picnic prevent you from eating while driving, it is likely the food will be healthier and more affordable.