Distracted driving is a major danger on American roads, and there are many forms of it. When most Americans think of the term “distracted driving,” they may think of a parent trying to drive while tending to a child in the backseat, or a teenager trying to send a text on the highway. However, eating while driving is also an extremely common form of distracted driving.
Eating and drinking while driving is extremely dangerous. According to DriversEd.com, drivers who consume food and beverage behind the wheel are 1.5 times more likely to be in a car crash, and over 50% of polled drivers admit to eating while driving.
Is eating while driving illegal?
No states actually ban eating while driving, like they do with cell phone use and driving. However, if eating behind the wheel leads to reckless driving, the police can give you a ticket.
There are several things that make consuming food while driving dangerous. Wiping away crumbs, dropping french fries, having greasy hands and spilling coffee on yourself will take your focus away from the road and possibly cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
How can I avoid eating while driving?
The best advice is to make sure that you have plenty of time to eat. Many Americans eat breakfast in their cars as a time-saving measure, but this is dangerous. It is better to wake up 10 minutes earlier so that you have time to eat at home. If you are on a road trip, try packing food and eating at rest stops to avoid drive-thrus.
Refraining from eating while driving can make American roads, and all of us, much safer.