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Dining and driving: A never-ending danger

Driving and distractions seem to go hand in hand. No matter the amount of caution that makes it to public awareness, drivers remain convinced they have the skill necessary to drive safely while completing other tasks from behind the wheel. While digital electronics seem to dominate the news, individuals have been distracted by one activity for decades upon decades – dining while driving.

While there are certainly drivers who make it a rule to never eat or drink while behind the wheel, this strict adherence to safety standards is rare. People will make it a habit to eat breakfast on the way to catch an early class or eat dinner while coming home after a long shift. For most people, this is a time-saving exercise.

In fact, it is such a common occurrence some drivers believe it to be a harmless universality. Unfortunately, numerous studies have shown that dining and driving can lead to serious collisions.

  • The Lytx study: Drivers who are eating or drinking while behind the wheel are 3.6 times more likely than their non-dining counterparts to be in a motor vehicle collision.
  • The NHTSA study: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that dining and driving can increase the likelihood of a motor vehicle collision by nearly 39%.

While any type of food can pull attention and focus from the act of driving, there are certainly some foods that might be more dangerous. Jelly or cream-filled donuts, for example, can pull attention but can also be messy, causing the driver to fumble to clean up a spill.

It is important that drivers on any type of road during any type of commute remove as many distractions as possible. From eating and drinking to making phone calls and personal grooming, any activity while behind the wheel can lead to serious accidents and devastating injuries.