If you asked the average American to picture a distracted driver, it is highly likely that they would think about a teenager texting on their cell phone while behind the wheel. Of course, texting and driving is extremely dangerous, but this is not likely the most common variety of distracted driving.
Millions of Americans eat behind the wheel each day. And while many think that this is innocuous behavior, the statistics prove otherwise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, your risk of getting into a crash or near-miss goes up by almost 40% if you eat behind the wheel.
Are some foods more dangerous than others?
Statistically, there are some foods more likely to involve themselves in vehicle crashes then others. Some of the most common culprits include donuts, food with BBQ sauce, hamburgers, tacos, coffee, chocolate and soups.
What can I do to avoid eating while driving?
The best thing to do is plan ahead. Many Americans end up eating breakfast in their cars due to a lack of time at home. If you set your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier, it is likely that you will be able to enjoy breakfast on your kitchen table as compared to in your car.
For longer journeys, it is a good idea to pack a picnic lunch and pull over at a rest stop to enjoy your meal. Not only will this prevent eating greasy fast food while driving, you will likely also save money and eat healthier. It is not worth the risk to yourself or others to save 20 minutes eating lunch on the highway.