When you think about being distracted on the road, what do you imagine? Do you think about drinking and driving, falling asleep behind the wheel or texting someone?
One thing that many people don’t realize is just as distracting as texting or arguing with a passenger is eating behind the wheel. Eating behind the wheel is dangerous for all kinds of reasons, but the main issue is that eating takes your mind off the road, your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
Eating behind the wheel: A misunderstood distraction
Many people don’t think about eating behind the wheel as a distraction because it’s normal for people to multitask while eating. You might be used to doing homework while eating dinner, eating while you watch TV or having a chat while you order a meal. Unfortunately, when you’re driving, you need to be 100% focused on the road.
Driving with one hand won’t give you the control you need if you have to move into another lane or stop suddenly. You might become distracted and stop paying attention to the road if you spill food or a drink. If you choke, then you could find yourself dealing with a medical emergency at the same time that you are trying to drive your vehicle at a high speed.
It is certainly difficult to eat and drive safely. Even something as simple as drinking a soda while you’re behind the wheel could lead to you being distracted if you take a swig and have it go down the wrong pipe.
What can you do to be safer when you need to eat?
The best option is to park while you eat. If you can’t do that and have a passenger who can drive, ask them to eat their meal first and then take over driving while you have yours.
Although you may not feel that eating is a particularly bad distraction, it can make you a more dangerous driver and may lead to collisions. Remember, if a driver is distracted at the time of a car crash, they can be held responsible for the injuries, damages and deaths that occur.