The 10 Most Dangerous Foods to Eat While Driving

[image via Los Angeles Times]

Texting while driving gets all the attention these days, but few things are more distracting than a hot cup of coffee in your lap.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified the ten most common and dangerous foods to eat or drink while driving, and naturally, coffee is at the top of the list. Even with a travel lid, coffee seems to find its way out of the cup. The other nine on the list are:

2. Soup and 3. Chili.  No explanation necessary.

4. Tacos.  A well-known tendency to disassemble.

5. Hamburgers.  Messy, often two-handed eating, with the added distraction of condiment packets.

6. Chicken and 7. Ribs.  Saucy and greasy, plus bones to navigate.

8. Jelly donuts.  The prudent choice is glazed.

9. Soft drinks The potential to fizz and spill increases when a can or bottle is involved.

10. Chocolate.  Sticky, melty, and a wrapper to negotiate.

It’s estimated that 80% of all car accidents are caused by distracted and multitasking drivers. Eating and drinking rate at least as high as cell phone use for their ability to distract a driver, but they are legal activities practiced by the vast majority of drivers. Mobile dining has been institutionalized through the proliferation of drive-through windows and in-vehicle dining accommodations like the 15(!) cup holders found in the Honda Odyssey.

More food-related accidents occur in the morning, when commuters make a greater effort to keep spills off of their work clothes. Manual transmissions contribute to the hazard, with gear-shifting adding one more variable to the equation. A cell phone call while eating and driving increases the risks exponentially.

Eating while driving is not in itself illegal, but plenty of citations have been issued to especially careless drivers. New Orleans Saint Bobby McCray was involved in a very public incident he called a DWP— Driving with Pizza, and one chronic offender was issued a restraining order banning all edibles from his car. In perhaps the most egregious example, the driver wasn’t cited for eating but for feeding. That would be breastfeeding, While driving. And she was on a cell phone.

Meals on wheels indeed.



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3 Responses to The 10 Most Dangerous Foods to Eat While Driving

  1. Leo says:

    nobody, includin’ me,offcause, havin’ food in my car:1st-it’s messy 4 interior,2nd-even if jorney takes 2-3 hrs it’s can wait till destination,if most people don’t eat standin’-“I’m not a horse 4 U!” why they tend 2 do it locked in metal box?
    Drive fast-enjoy ride! Eat well enjoy food!

  2. Scotty MC says:

    # 1 Food not to eat while driving – ALL OF THEM! I can’t believe there is actually a Top 10 List for this. The only thing your should be doing while driving is DRIVING!

  3. I guess I am safe because I rarely eat anything off of that list! I worry too much what I will look like when I arrive at my destination! At home is bad enough. (:

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