Any driver can skip stopping for lunch and go for a drive-thru to save time. If you stop somewhere nice to enjoy you meal is fine. However, tackling your burger, fries and drink will not be easy when you are driving. It can cause you a lot of troubles including dripping ketchup on your favorite shirt. A traffic violation or crash that results from eating behind the wheel could cause more grief than indigestion.
Everyone has heard of the horrible stories about texting while driving, but what about eating and driving? Do you realize that eating and driving is as risky as texting while driving according to statistics. There have been numerous cases where drivers have been in accidents and at the scene authorities have noticed a bag of food in the car.
Eating while driving accidents will eventually result in higher auto insurance rates. According to a mishap study of drivers eating while driving is more of a risk than talking on the phone. In many states talking on the phone is illegal and fines can be as high as $150.
Experts on multitasking claim that eating while driving takes your thoughts off driving and motivates you to attempt to perform too many things at once. This causes more accidents today than most believe. If you are eating while driving you are not following the basic rules of the road.
Multitasking is common today in the workplace, but you don’t have the chance to get into an accident while in the office. In a car going forty miles an hour you have the chance to cause serious damage to yourself and others. Experts claim the brain should not be handling many other functions while driving.
For example, many drivers think it is smart to get a quick meal at the drive-thru. But they are likely to fail noticing that they entered in a school zone while eating their burgers. Defensive driving experts suggest anyone who is going through the drive-thru to park then eat. If distractions are dangerous then you are better off to follow common rules of the road.
Even though many drivers do not hear about “eating and driving” there are studies and statistics going back twenty years. Car insurance companies have records of accident claims they have paid. Many pay attention to the distractions the first being a cell phone. The second being the radio or internet device installed in the car, and the last being video equipment.
However, there are common foods that the insurance companies have noted drivers should be aware of. They are the most common foods being consumed during a car accident. Hamburger is the first runner up. Hamburgers are meant to be eaten with two hands and if you are driving then you can see this as a problem. Think of all the stuff you want to keep off your face, lap, or car seat?
Potato chips are the most common food to eat while driving, but is the second cause of accidents of “eating while driving”. The problem with potato chips is drivers get the salts on their hand and look for a napkin to wipe which leads to a distraction. Looking for a napkin takes your eyes off the road and an alert driver needs one and half seconds to respond.
A distracted driver who is splitting attention between eating and driving needs three seconds to react. Some experts claim that the chips could be hard to swallow and/or the combination of salts you would need to get something to drink. This is another distraction which is normally three seconds or more and could cause an accident.
The third most common food to eat while driving is ice cream. The issue with ice cream, although it seems easy to eat, would be when some of it falls in the drivers lap. This is going to cause a distraction of up to four seconds or more and a possible accident.
Eating ice cream in a cup can be more dangerous since it requires a spoon and drivers are supposed to have two hands on the wheel to react appropriately to dangerous situations. There have been over 1239 reported accidents in 2010 where ice cream was in the car after the accident or in the drivers lap.
Another common food that has caused crashes for some unlucky people is pizza. Never eat pizza while driving since the pizza is hot and the cheese can cause second or third degree burns. According to statistics, five percent of drivers have eaten a piece of pizza while driving the interstate at fifty-five miles an hour.
The last and least unsuspecting food to cause an accident is bottled water or soda. The number one culprit behind the cause of accident is having to open the bottle. The driver has to take one, and sometimes two, hands off the wheel to open the bottle. Over three percent of accidents nationwide have been reported with a driver trying to open a bottle of water or soda.
Next time you are driving and eating think of the costs you may have to pay in the long run due to higher car insurance rates. Even though eating while driving is not illegal it is has contributed to some major traffic accidents across the nation.