Briefcase - check, mobile phone - check, sandwich for lunch - check, breakfast roll ready for eating on the way to work - check! Eating while you are driving is practical, saves time and allows you to stay in bed in the morning for fifteen extra precious minutes.

Think again!

Eating at the wheel is dangerous and can result in careless driving.

Scary food for thought

According to statistics your reaction time if eating when driving is increased by 44% as opposed to 12.5% when talking on a mobile phone. You are more likely to swerve into another lane while eating.  The odds of having an accident when eating while driving is increased by a huge 80%, do you really want to take that chance? The same can be said of drinking.  What are you going to do if you spill hot coffee on yourself when driving? The natural instinct is to look after the possible burn or to try to remove the stain from your clothes. When you are doing that you are definitely not paying attention to the traffic and giving your driving the full attention required at all times.

Even so called travel friendly food such as crisps, chips, chocolate and sweets, inevitably you will want to wipe your hands, will you have the tissues ready each time? No I don’t think so. Of course this will distract you from driving. It only takes a second of distraction for an accident to occur. In that 1 second of inattention at 30 mph your car has travelled 44 feet. A lot can happen in 44 feet, especially when many drivers are only 20 feet behind the car in front.

Health consequences

These statistics should be enough of a deterrent but you can also think of the health consequences of eating when driving.  If you are eating when driving you are not fully concentrating on either task, thereby it’s likely once you have finished eating your body may not register the fact and look for more food and so you will want to eat again. This can lead to obesity and body weight related health problems

Dangerous driving charges

While eating and drinking at the wheel are not yet illegal activities if there is an accident and it was found that you were eating you could be charged with dangerous driving.

It’s messy

Also just think about it, if you ever want to sell your car, how difficult would it be to get rid of the ingrained greasy smell that gets into the fibres and the fabric in the car. No amount of lavender scented air freshener will obliterate that horrible unctuous underlying odour.  Not to mention the crumbs and all the wrappers that will have to be cleaned out. The time spent on cleaning and trying to hoover out those crumbs that get stuck in every hard to reach nook and cranny. Save yourself the trouble, eat at the table where it’s easy to wipe down.

Planning ahead

If you are going on a long trip, plan ahead, schedule breaks every two hours, that way you know even if you start to feel a few hunger pangs or you are thirsty, you know within a relatively short time you will be able to satisfy your needs. You will actually save time in the long run and you can travel with peace of mind.

If it’s a short trip, realistically any snacks you may feel like can wait. There is no shortage of convenience food at any service station, or you can just sit down and enjoy proper refreshments when you arrive at your destination.

Eating at the wheel is not a good idea on a number of counts. So set that alarm clock for fifteen minutes earlier, sit down, savour your breakfast, be kind to your body and stay vigilant on behalf of your fellow drivers.