Distracted Driving - Food & Beverages

  • 17 Apr 2017 16:26

While cellular telephone use is the most common, and most reported, example of distracted driving, there are many other behaviors that can take our attention away while being behind the wheel.

Road Map to Safety

Simply put, distracted driving is any activity that diverts our focus from the safe operation of a motor vehicle. According to the Auto Alliance, in partnership with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:

There are three common types of distractions that impair drivers’ abilities to safely operate their vehicles and avoid crashes:

  1. Visual distractions occur when a driver’s eyes are diverted away from the road to complete or pay attention to another task.
  2. Manual distractions require drivers to take their hands off of the wheel.
  3. Cognitive distractions take a driver’s mind and focus away from driving.

Each of these distractions are dangerous, but when combined they pose an even greater risk to driver, passenger and pedestrian safety.

Eating and/or drinking while on the road.

It’s quite likely that at some point each of us has grabbed a quick snack or coffee “on the go.” While eating and driving, our attention is divided between what we’re doing on the road and possibly unwrapping our food, using a napkin, and most certainly using one hand to hold what we’re eating. Add a coffee or soft drink into the mix, especially if we spill the coffee, and a two or three ton recipe for disaster is hurling down the road.

Something to digest...

A study of 1000 drivers conducted by Exxon Mobile revealed that 7% of drivers admit to eating while driving and 83% admit to drinking coffee or soft drinks.

A LYTX study from 2014 indicates that drivers who eat or drink behind the wheel are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that:

  • Eating and/or drinking soft drinks while driving increases the chances of a collision by 80%.
  • 65% of all collision near-misses are caused by eating and or/drinking soft drinks while driving.
  • The 10 most dangerous foods and drinks consumed while driving include soft drinks, coffee, wrapped candy, doughnuts, burgers, fried chicken, barbeque, tacos, chili, and soup.

The easiest ways to avoid these types of distractions are to eat before you leave, or after you arrive. For longer journeys or road trips, pull into a rest-stop or a restaurant and take a meal break.

Having the munchies is not worth the risk!

Safety Starts with Me


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