When asked to picture a distracted driver, the average American is likely to think about a teenager texting while behind the wheel. Of course, texting and driving is very unsafe, but there are other distracted driving behaviors that are far more common.
One very common form of distracted driving is eating while driving. In fact, this is likely one of the most common forms of distracted driving in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating or drinking from an open container while operating a vehicle makes the likelihood of a crash rise by almost 40%.
What are the most dangerous foods?
Eating or drinking anything while driving is a distraction. However, some food- and drink-based distractions are more dangerous than others. According to the NHTSA, some of the most dangerous foods to eat while driving include chocolate, barbecue food, tacos, soups, chili, powdered- or cream-filled donuts and coffee.
What are the best ways to prevent eating while driving?
Many Americans end up eating in their cars due to a lack of time. Often, starting your day 10 minutes earlier can be the difference between enjoying breakfast at home and trying to work your way through rush-hour traffic with a coffee in one hand and a donut in your mouth.
For longer-term drives, consider packing your own lunch and stopping at rest stops for a break when you are hungry. Not only will this prevent eating while driving, it will also save you money and likely be healthier than what you would get at a fast food drive-thru.