Most people would agree that a teenager sending texts to her friends from behind the wheel constitutes a distracted driver. However, millions of Americans drive distracted every day and do not realize it.
One of the most common varieties of distracted driving is eating while operating a motor vehicle. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that eating while driving increases the risk of a crash or near crash by almost 40%.
What are the most dangerous foods?
While there is no definitive list of foods you should avoid while driving, some do appear at the scene of accidents more often than others. Some foods that are more statistically likely to appear at the scene of automobile accidents include donuts, fried chicken, chocolate, soft drinks, barbecued food, chili and coffee.
How can I avoid eating while driving?
A big factor is preparation. Lots of Americans eat their breakfast in their cars on the way to work. While this may seem like an efficient use of time, it can be very dangerous. Simply setting your alarm clock to go off 10 minutes earlier in the morning can give you the buffer you need to eat a wholesome breakfast at home rather than in your car.
For longer car trips, planning out your meals can help. Rather than going through a fast food drive-thru lane when your stomach starts rumbling, consider packing a picnic lunch and stopping to eat at a rest area. Not only will this prevent you from eating in your car, you will likely also save money and eat healthier as well.