Eating behind the wheel may save time for drivers in a rush, but it also represents a significant distraction that could put drivers and vehicles sharing the road with them in danger. When eyes are off the road, and the driver is focused on sustenance, serious accidents are likely the result.
While there are countless reasons why eating while driving is not recommended, three of the most common include:
The decision to dine while driving is particularly dangerous to the driver. The possibility of choking is possible. This potentially deadly form of multitasking could result in food getting lodged in the driver’s throat, creating a panicked state where self-survival comes first, potentially at the expense of other drivers.
A sudden spill
Spilling hot drinks while driving can also take the focus off the road. The famed 1992 lawsuit that saw a 79-year-old woman spilling hot McDonald’s coffee on her lap is still discussed. Her “distraction” netted her a $3 million judgment, if not countless jokes on late-night talk shows. For other drivers, finding themselves in need of care for the pain they are suffering can make rash decisions, resulting in even more injuries to themselves and others on the road.
For food-on-the-go drivers, traveling away from a drive-thru usually involves removing the food from the bag and unwrapping wrappers in preparation to eat. Even if the “prep” successfully avoided problems, consuming food practically requires drivers to look away. Even with one eye on the road, the other eye is still focused on something that puts everyone in the car and in close proximity in danger.
Driving routines often include grabbing a quick bite or drink. However, the possibility of distractions should motivate drivers to break those habits and keep themselves and others on the road safe.