Did you know that eating behind the wheel is a kind of distracted driving? When you’re driving while eating, your mind may be on the food or drink you’re ingesting. You may not be focusing on the road ahead of you when a wrapper is poking up out of your hand or when you drop ketchup on your shirt.
Spilling drinks, whether hot or cold, has the potential to take your mind off what you’re doing. On top of that, if you choke on your food, you could have a medical emergency while driving.
Eating while driving is a bad idea for more reasons than one
It’s realistic to stay that most people who eat while driving are doing so to save time. Someone might be rushing to work or home after a busy day. They might realize they haven’t eaten for a long time and swing through a drive-thru to grab something small to hold them over until dinner.
All of these reasons for eating behind the wheel are legitimate, but they still put you at risk of being involved in a serious collision. Whether you’re drinking something or eating a small meal, your mind isn’t focused. Your hands won’t be on the wheel, and you may not be looking ahead at what’s happening in front of you. In fact, your reaction speed is lowered by up to 44% when eating and 22% when drinking.
What should you do to avoid crashes related to eating while driving?
The only way to truly mitigate the risk of crashing your vehicle because of eating is to not eat or drink in your vehicle. While it might save you time to do so, the increased risk of a crash really isn’t worth it.
If you grab something to eat, park for the few minutes it will take you to eat. If you can’t, wait until you get to your destination to eat what you purchased.
It may seem like eating and drinking behind the wheel is totally acceptable thanks to the cup holders in most vehicles, but it does put you at risk. If you cause a crash, then you could be accused of distracted driving and be held accountable.
Eating and driving is dangerous, so it’s better to avoid it. If you end up getting hit by someone who was distracted in this way, you may have a case against them.