Many Austin drivers love their cup of coffee while on the road, with some also enjoying taking lunch from the drive-thru on the way to work, class, or a social activity. However, a large number of Texas motorists may not know that eating or drinking while behind the wheel can be a problem. You do not want distractions while you drive, and as Esurance points out, dining while driving can present a number of possibly dangerous distractions.
First, drinks are messy and can spill. Getting coffee or soda on your shirt can be irritating, and you may feel tempted to grab a napkin or tissue to clean it. Even if you are trying to concentrate on the road, you still might take a moment to look at the mess, which could take your eyes off the road for a few crucial seconds. Some foods are no better, with cheese, jelly, and powder all likely to produce messes. Even crumbs can be distracting.
Some foods are greasy, so when you touch a burger or a piece of fried chicken, you are likely to slick your fingertips with grease. This is going to pose a problem while keeping your hands on the steering wheel, especially when you need to make turns. Additionally, it can just be plain irritating to leave greasy messes on your steering wheel and anywhere inside your car that you touch, and emotional distress can offer more distractions from your surroundings.
A lot of foods are contained in wrappers or plastics. So when you reach out to grab a burger, a hot dog, or a piece of candy, your fingers have to navigate an outer covering to get into the wrapping. This is going to take one of your hands off the wheel for a good amount of time, even longer if the wrapping is stubborn. While you are fiddling with the wrapper, your attention from the road is going to be divided.
Handling food or drinks while you drive is an activity classified as a secondary task distraction. As the Drive Safely website points out, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that a secondary task distraction boosts the possibility that a driver will suffer an automobile crash or have a near miss by almost 39%. So to increase the odds of a safe drive, motorists should think twice about indulging in a taco or coffee while behind the wheel.