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Driving habits to avoid: Dining while behind the wheel

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Whether you are driving in the morning and take a sip from your coffee cup, or driving home after a long day and take a bite of dinner to alleviate your growing hunger pangs, you are putting yourself and other drivers at risk. Dining while driving might seem like a common, harmless activity, but you are taking your eyes, hands and focus off the safe operation of your vehicle with every nibble.

California drivers have been conditioned to think that dining while behind the wheel is a perfectly acceptable activity. The combination of an “everyone does it” mentality and the desire to turn a super-commute into a productive adventure through multitasking can be a dangerous one. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has even listed the 10 items you should absolutely avoid.

  • Coffee
  • Soup
  • Tacos
  • Chili
  • Hamburgers
  • Barbecued food
  • Fried chicken
  • Jelly-filled, cream-filled or powdered donuts
  • Soft drinks
  • Chocolate

It should be obvious that the thread that connects the foods and drinks on this list has its roots in messiness. The potential for spills looms large in nearly all these items. When a drink is spilled or sloshes out of its cup, the driver will immediately look at the damage. He or she might reach over to pick up the overturned cup or blot up the spill with a napkin. Similarly, if jelly from inside a donut or grease from a hamburger drips onto work pants, the driver will likely panic, look at the spill and attempt to clean it, all while navigating through traffic.

Instances of distracted driving can lead to devastating collisions and catastrophic injuries. Vehicle crashes can result in brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, burn injuries or amputation. If a driver is not in full visual, cognitive and manual control of a car or truck, that vehicle is a danger to everyone on the road.