Is eating behind the wheel really dangerous?

You likely know that drinking and driving is a hazard. You also know that texting behind the wheel or looking away from the road puts you in harm's way. Did you know that eating behind the wheel could cause a serious collision, too?

Eating while driving may cause up to 80 percent of all crashes, according to one study. Approximately 65 percent of cases involving near misses were also attributed to distracted drivers who were eating behind the wheel.

Which food is the worst offender? The answer might shock you; it's coffee. Even though coffee is easy to drink with one hand on the wheel, it can be extremely hot and difficult to put down. If it spills, it could cause a driver to crash as he or she attempts to avoid the hot liquid.

Other dangerous foods to eat behind the wheel include hamburgers, soup, hot dogs, fried chicken, soda and candy bars. Interestingly, despite the dangers, over 70 percent of drivers in a 1,000-driver study admitted to eating while behind the wheel. Eighty-three percent admitted to drinking pops and other beverages while driving.

Most people drink or eat behind the wheel at one point or another. Some believe that eating only when stopped for a red light or while waiting in traffic is enough to avoid being distracted. The truth is that there's never a good time to be eating behind the wheel. It's always safer to wait until you get home or to eat at the take-out or fast food restaurant where you got your food before you drive.

Source: New York Daily News, "Eating while driving causes 80% of all car accidents, study shows," Jamie Locher, Owen Moritz, accessed March 08, 2018

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