While most in Pomona would point to drunk drivers as being those they most fear encountering while on the road, distracted drivers can be just as dangerous. Indeed, research information shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 3,166 people were killed by distracted drivers in America in 2017. Most would likely classify distracted drivers as those who use their cell phones while behind the wheel, yet there is another form of driving distraction that is equally (if not more) prevalent: eating while driving.
Most consider eating to be a mindless task. Therefore, eating while driving might not seem distracting. Yet eating does indeed pull one's attention away from the road (whether they realize it or not). It generates distractions such as:
- Taking a hand off the wheel to hold food or to grab a drink
- Diverting one's attention to unwrapping or grasping food items
- Pulling one's eyes off the road to see whatever it is they are eating
Some might argue that these actions only take a few seconds (or less). Yet when traveling on the road at high speeds, only a few seconds of inattentiveness is needed to cause an accident.
Yet perhaps even more alarming of how easy it is for eating and drinking while driving to cause an accident is the fact that so many people admit to doing it. Research data compiled by ExxonMobil shows that 70 percent of drivers admit to eating behind the wheel. This lack of understanding of the dangers of eating while driving no doubt contributes to the statistic cited by LYTX showing that those who do so are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who do not.