Eating While Driving: Is This the Proper Thing to Do?

Eating While Driving: Is This the Proper Thing to Do?

Marcus is scheduled for a 10:00 meeting.  Unforeseen circumstances at home have caused him to run a bit behind schedule.  He forgoes a home-cooked breakfast and makes a pit stop at a nearby drive-through.  Marcus chuckles to himself at the thought that only women can multitask.  This morning he will eat his breakfast sandwich and hash browns and enjoy a hot cup of coffee while mentally preparing for his meeting as he tackles the morning traffic.  All is going well until another motorist cuts him off and causes him to drop his ketchup-covered hash browns on his Armani white shirt.  From now on he’ll leave the multitasking to women.

Tiffany drives a 5-speed sports vehicle in traffic each morning to work. She prides herself on her ability to eat, drink coffee, apply her makeup, read the morning paper, answer an occasional call and tend to her children’s needs.  Her license plate reads “caution” for keep your distance.

Are you guilty of eating while driving?  I am and you probably are too.  Studies conducted by insurance companies and traffic safety agencies conclude that most people have at one time or another eaten a meal or drunk a beverage behind the wheel. 

Eating while driving not only endangers your life, but the lives of others as well.  Eating while driving is messy and can distract you from driving safely.  “Driving under the influence of food” is one of the most common distractions of drivers.  People are known to:

  • Focus on food/beverages vs. driving conditions
  • Take their hands off the steering wheel to maneuver their food
  • React to a spill
  • Unwrap and rewrap foods
  • Reach to pick up something that has dropped (sauces, French fries)

It is not surprising that the majority of food related accidents occur in the morning when people are more concerned about their appearance before work.

Have you ever drunk a cup of coffee while driving or eaten messy chocolates, tacos, hamburgers or greasy fried chicken?  These foods are some of the most hazardous food offenders drivers consume.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is so easy to do other things while driving, especially in high traffic areas.  Do not be tempted to multitask!  Just drive.  Don’t eat on the run.  Allow yourself time to stop and eat or wait until you are at home to eat drive-through foods.  This summer, if you will be traveling for long periods of time on a road trip, enjoy your meals in restaurants or take turns eating and driving.

Be a safe driver and don’t eat and drive.   

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Tina Hayes is the founder and owner of The School of Etiquette and Decorum in Antioch, CA. As a passionate instructor dedicated to providing quality and professional etiquette training to her clients, Mrs. Tina Hayes promotes the awareness that social presentation and behaviors are important to be successful in today's society for all ages.