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Is Eating While Driving Actually Dangerous?

Is Eating While Driving Actually Dangerous?
Christian J. Amendt

Distracted driving of all kinds on California roadways is very dangerous. While most people would agree that somebody texting a friend or surfing social media on a smartphone while driving is certainly distracted, not everybody would peg a driver sipping a Coke as distracted as well.

The reality is that eating and drinking while driving is certainly a form of distracted driving. According to Decide to Drive, eating and drinking while driving can raise your risk of crash or near-crash by almost 40%.

Are some foods more dangerous than others?

There are some foods that are more statistically likely to be present at the scene of car crashes. A shortlist of these foods includes sodas, coffee, hamburgers, barbecued food, soups and varied donuts.

However, keep in mind that these foods are readily available through drive-thru restaurants and roadside eateries. Deciding to consume a Christmas ham behind the wheel is not any safer simply because it does not appear on this list; it is simply less common for drivers to eat this kind of food. Eating or drinking anything while driving is a distraction.

How can I avoid eating while driving?

Many Americans eat behind the wheel due to a lack of time. Often, waking up 10 minutes earlier in the morning can give you enough time to enjoy your breakfast at home on the kitchen table rather than in rush hour traffic. If you are planning on taking a road trip, consider packing your meals and stopping at rest stops to eat. Not only will this prevent you from eating while driving, but it is also likely the food will be cheaper and healthier as well.