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An overlooked form of distracted driving: Eating while driving

Eating while DrivingWhen thinking of distracted driving, what comes to mind?

  • Talking on a phone while driving?
  • Texting while driving?
  • Using Facebook while driving?

Most people think of phone-related activities as prime examples of distracted driving – and this is true. But many different activities can distract a driver.

One often-overlooked form of distracted driving that is quite dangerous is eating and drinking behind the wheel.

Many people make a practice of eating while driving: Running late for work? Eat breakfast in the car. Too tired to cook dinner? Make a trip through the drive-through after work.

According to a study performed by Lytxs, drivers who eat and drink behind the wheel are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than drivers who do not.

Why is eating and drinking while driving so dangerous? There are many reasons:

  • It requires a driver to take his or her hands off the wheel – to unwrap a sandwich, to dip a French fry in ketchup, etc.
  • It requires a driver to take his or her eyes off the road.
  • Eating and drinking behind the wheel usually results in a mess – spilled drinks, crumbs on the seat, wrappers and trash on the floor. These can all be distracting to the driver.

What can drivers do to avoid the dangerous of eating and drinking while driving?

It’s quite simple: Stop doing it. Make a practice of eating before you get into the car. If you eat breakfast in the car because you’re running late, set your alarm earlier so you can eat at home.

Also, don’t store food or drinks in the car. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it.

For safe liquids consumption while driving, Driving-tests.org recommends using a slim container that has an easy-open lid. Additionally, if you are hungry, pull over and eat in a parking lot or park.

With some planning, drivers can avoid many of the dangers of eating and drinking while driving.