It is highly likely that when you think of a “distracted driver,” you picture a teenager trying to post to a social media app on their cell phone while behind the wheel. It is true that technology contributes heavily to distracted driving, but not all forms of distracted driving involve tech.
One of the most common and dangerous forms of distracted driving is eating while operating a vehicle. In fact, Decide to Drive estimates that eating or drinking from an open container while driving increases your likelihood of getting in a crash or near crash by almost 40%.
What foods are most prevalent at crash sites?
Even though correlation is not causation, there are some kinds of food and beverage that appear at crash sites more often than others. Most of these foods are “finger foods” that are easy to buy from fast food drive-thrus or roadside cafes.
Some common foods at crash sites include chalk jelly-filled or powdered donuts, soft drinks, hamburgers, tacos and coffee. Again, this does not mean that it is any safer to eat a rack of ribs behind the wheel.
How can I stop eating while driving?
Many Americans eat while driving due to a lack of time. It is likely that if you normally eat your breakfast in rush hour traffic, waking up 10 minutes earlier may allow you to eat at home.
If you are embarking upon a long road trip, consider packing picnic lunches and stopping at rest stops to eat. Not only will this prevent you from eating while driving, it will likely also save you money and the food will be healthier.