Drinking and then driving can certainly lead to high-impact car accidents. So too can testing while driving. There is, however, another major form of distracted driving that is equally as dangerous yet is rarely as talked about. This is no doubt due to it high prevalence amongst the general population (indeed, one might argue that auto manufacturers even encourage it with some of the features they include in their vehicles). This distraction is eating while driving, and it’s a risk that few appreciate.
Just how dangerous can eating while driving be? In a joint data collecting venture between the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance, it was revealed that those who eat behind the wheel are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who do not. And yet this is activity that most engage in while driving.
If you have recently been involved in an accident, think of the things you noticed about the driver who hit you and their vehicle. Were there spills or stains on their clothing? Could you see grease marks on the steering wheel? Were there food wrappers on the seats or floor. You would likely recognize these as being telltale signs of eating while driving, because it might be something that you do, as well. Yet knowing that eating while driving may have caused your accident might help you gain greater perspective in to this issue.
A closer look at the actions the actions required to eat and drive reveal why it is so distracting. You have to take your hands off the wheel to group the food, and your eyes off the wheel to eat it. With this understanding, you may be better equipped to determine if eating behind the wheel was the cause.