Professionals commuting to work and those taking a road trip with family members may want to do more than just focus on driving. Eating at the wheel is a common practice, especially for those making a long driving trip or those who have to commute quite a bit for their job.
Grabbing a meal at a drive-through or rifling through your brown paper sack lunch when stuck in traffic can keep your blood sugar balanced and your mood steady, but it could potentially contribute to you causing a crash. What foods are the safest for a driver to eat at the wheel?
People’s favorite foods aren’t always easy to manage or convenient
Researchers surveyed drivers to find out what they eat at the wheel and how frequently their driving dietary habits led to collisions or traffic tickets. The number one food that people grab to eat while driving may perhaps be the safest option.
About 17% of drivers say a granola bar or energy bar is their go-to snack at the wheel. These aren’t messy and are quick to consume, minimizing how long someone has their hands off the wheel. However, many of the other top foods are both messy and difficult to manage, making them more of a risk than a benefit.
People apparently also eat ice cream cones, tacos, burritos, pizza, potato chips and donuts in the car. Of all those drivers, 70% reported they never had any issues with eating while driving. 18% reported a near-miss for a collision, while 11% experienced a minor crash and another 6% had a serious crash with more than $2,000 worth of damage. Another 6% got cited by police officers for eating at the wheel.
The truth is that no food is safe to eat while driving
Regardless of how hungry you are or how stacked your schedule is, trying to enjoy a meal while also getting to your destination is not a good decision. Most people recognize that eating at the wheel is distracted driving.
Not only are you going to need to take your hand off the wheel the hold the food, but your brain and your eyes, intermittently, will also focus on the food instead of on the road in front of you. Distracted drivers, including those having a quick snack, might cause crashes with big consequences for others.