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Eating + Driving: A Bad Combination

by  on  Car Accidents & Motor Vehicle Collisions

When you’re hitting the open road, it can be nice to have a few snacks in the car for the journey. Whether you’re driving to work or embarking on a multi-day voyage, everyone knows that your commute is made infinitely better when food is involved.

At least, that’s what most people assume. The truth of the matter is that eating in the car is a lot riskier than you might have thought. Any skilled Denver accident attorney could tell you that distracted driving is always a recipe for disaster. And distracted driving that is the result of being distracted by food may be one of the worst.

The studies speak for themselves. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 80% of car accidents are caused by people who are distracted by food. Further, roughly 65% of near-miss accidents are caused by distracted drivers. So it’s safe to say that we aren’t the only one who would advise you not to eat and drive.

No matter what kind of food you’re eating, it’s going to take your attention away from the road in some way. Even the most handheld options pose serious problems when you bring them behind the wheel. That said, we thought we’d outline a few of the top foods to avoid while driving, so you can stay safe and focused the next time you start your engine.

Keep These Foods Out of Your Car

One of the major offenders for distracted drivers is coffee (or any hot liquid). Whether you burn your tongue or spill the contents of your cup all over your lap, there are numerous ways in which this situation can go from bad to worse. If you must have something other than water in the car, we recommend keeping it in your cup holder until you take a break. That way you don’t give it the opportunity to take your focus off of the road.

In a similar vein, soups are another food group to be avoided. All of that sloshing sounds like a recipe to ruin your upholstery and keep you from focusing on the task at hand: getting safely from point A to point B. This is also the kind of food that is very difficult to eat one-handed, with a plastic spoon. So plan ahead and leave your soup at home for another day.

One blacklisted food group may surprise you: burgers and sandwiches. While you may think you are able to eat these with one hand, we’re pretty sure that one-handed eating is going to turn into a one-handed mess. Sandwiches have so many moving parts that may be potentially greasy, oozy or otherwise messy. Maybe the lettuce slips or the tomato falls out the back. No problem if you’re at a table. But when you’re supposed to have both hands on the wheel, it makes things a little difficult.

And of course, there’s everyone’s favorite: French fries. At this point, you may know why we’ve forbidden them — the grease factor, combined with the ketchup situation makes these a disaster waiting to happen. So, trust us on this one and avoid them at all costs.

We’ll round out the list with another crowd-pleaser: chocolate. What may seem like a perfectly portable treat is really a melty mess waiting to happen. Leave it in a hot car or forget that it’s sitting a little too close to the heater and you’re going to regret it.

What Can You Do?

It may seem like we just ruled out every possible food option available. But, the truth is, you almost never have to eat while you’re on the road. Chances are, if you leave a little bit early, you can either eat before you leave or stop along the way. Rest stops exist for a reason: one of which is to give you the chance to eat without being a danger to yourself or other drivers.

We recommend that you make the most of these stops. Or, if you simply must continue driving, consider switching drivers for a bit so you can eat while your traveling companion focuses on the road.

While we will never recommend distracted driving, we understand that it can happen. But, with these tips, you may be able to decrease your likelihood of distracted driving due to food, or, at the very least, choose foods that aren’t on this list when you get behind the wheel.

Have you still found yourself in an accident? Rest assured Levine Law is here to help. When you contact us, we’ll set up an initial consultation, listen to your story, and help you get back on your feet and back out on the road.