On a short journey, drivers don’t need to give too much thought to eating or drinking. However, not all journeys are short. On a longer journey, you may need to rehydrate or get some food into your system. Is it safe to do this while in motion?
Driver distractions account for thousands of accidents across the U.S. every year and eating is a form of distraction. Outlined below are some of the key reasons why eating is so dangerous in practical terms.
Hot drinks can be as dangerous as alcohol
Although it may be tempting to take a flask with you, and many drivers do, this is really not safe. A hot cup of coffee can set you on your way, but it’s not easy or safe to drink this while in motion. If you spill on yourself, which is highly likely, then you are going to be burned. This means that your attention is on the pain you’re having to endure and not on the road in front of you.
Diving is not a one-handed operation
To drive safely, you need both of your hands available at all times. Time spent unwrapping food, loosening bottle caps and opening coffee cups is time that is taken away from the wheel. Not only is eating while driving difficult to do, but it is also extremely dangerous.
The rules apply to your passengers, too
Your passenger may not be directly involved in the driving, but they are part of the journey. Passengers have a responsibility not to distract drivers, and food is a significant source of distraction. The smells, noises and temptation of food offerings all have the potential to remove your eyes from the road. If your passengers are tempted to eat something, it might be best to ask them to hold off for a while.
If another driver is distracted then they have a higher chance of hitting you. Being in a road traffic collision can be traumatic, but there are a number of legal options open to you if you find yourself in this position.