Eating at the wheel is dangerous. You have to take at least one hand off the wheel to grip your beverage or food item. You will also likely look down at the food to make sure you don’t bite into a wrapper or spill something in your lap.
Finally, you will mentally focus much more on the mechanical action of eating and then on the enjoyment of the food than you will on safety and your surroundings. Any food is dangerous to eat while driving, but some cause more risk than others.
Which foods are the most dangerous to enjoy at the wheel?
1. Hot coffee or other heated beverages
Enjoying your morning pick-me-up on the way to work seems to make perfect sense. You can drink it slowly and still make it to work on time. However, hot coffee comes with a very serious risk of burning yourself. Burning your tongue or throat when you drink too quickly might cause dangerous distraction, and spilling the coffee on your lap might lead to you swerving in response to the sudden pain.
Fried pastries are a common choice for people to consume at the wheel on their way to work. Unfortunately, donuts can easily become a safety hazard. Someone dripping jelly or cream onto their clothing will likely try to clean themselves while still driving.
At least at first glance, a burger may seem like the ideal vehicle food. It is available at many drive-thru restaurants, and you can hold it in one hand. Like a donut, a burger presents the risk of spilling something on yourself while you drive. They often require that someone take two hands off the wheel to unwrap them while eating as well.
4. French fries and similar side dishes
Grabbing an order of fries, cheese sticks or a similar side dish can seem like the perfect way to stave off your hunger on your way home after work. Unfortunately, snacks sold at drive-throughs are often very greasy. Additionally, opening dipping sauces will likely take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
5. Candy bars
Whether you have an afternoon energy slump or a sweet tooth, a candy bar can seem like a simple solution to a frustrating problem. However, chocolate and other candy tends to melt quickly, resulting in a sticky mess. Not only will someone need to clean their hands, but they may also need to clean up their steering wheel.
The more focus it takes to consume a food and the more mess it creates, the greater the potential for distraction while someone consumes that food item. Avoiding sticky, melty and otherwise messy foods is very important for your overall safety. Making smarter choices at the wheel will reduce your risk of experiencing a motor vehicle collision or being responsible for any crash that does occur.