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Eating while driving: A deadly habit?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2020 | Car Accidents

Society seems geared toward keeping people on the move. Technology moves at lightning speed. Every business that can offers either curbside service or a drive-thru. Even minor vehicle procedures such as an oil change don’t require drivers to even get out of the car. Is it any wonder that drivers are accustomed to performing various tasks while also trying to safely operate their vehicle?

One of the most common habits on our Delaware roads is eating while driving.

Whether grabbing breakfast while leaving for school, sipping coffee during a long commute to work or eating dinner on the way home after a long shift, eating while behind the wheel is both a common and dangerous habit.

Typically, driving distractions can be lumped into three categories: visual distractions (not watching the road), cognitive distractions (daydreaming) and manual distractions (removing your hands from the steering wheel). While any of these types of distractions can result in devastating accidents, when an activity combines two or more categories, drivers – and those around them – are in serious trouble.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranked the 10 most dangerous types of food to eat while driving:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Soft drinks
  3. Jelly and cream-filled or powdered doughnuts
  4. Fried chicken
  5. Barbecued food
  6. Hamburgers
  7. Chili
  8. Tacos
  9. Soups
  10. Coffee

While many drivers might balk at this list, it only takes a moment’s consideration to come up with a scenario in which eating or drinking one of these items can combine our earlier list of distractions. Reaching into a center console, for example, and removing the lid from a bottle of soda could potentially hit all three categories of distraction. Similarly, taking a bite of a jelly-filled doughnut and having some of the filling fall into your lap could immediately cause a severe distraction.

Drivers typically overestimate their ability to remain safe on the road while multitasking. Unfortunately, distracted driving leads to vehicle collisions and catastrophic injuries. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a distracted driving accident, it is wise to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney to learn more about your options for monetary compensation.