Food in the Car: This Is Why You Should Stop Eating Behind the Wheel ASAP


Cheeseburgers, tacos, cold-cut sandwiches, sodas, ice cream cones, hot wings. Today’s drivers have access to all types of foods through the marvelous modern convenience of the restaurant drive-thru window. Since the middle of the twentieth century, motorists have been able to order and consume their favorite foods without removing the key from their vehicle’s ignition or their bodies from the driver’s seat. But is enjoying your lunch behind the wheel really a good idea?

Consider this: the National Highway Traffic Administration conducted a study that found eating to be a greater distraction while driving than cell phone use. While almost half of drivers surveyed consider eating and drinking while driving to be a distraction, almost all are guilty. Before you enjoy your next convenient store slushie or extra-large order of fries while navigating the roads, consider these reasons not to eat and drive:

4 Reasons not to Eat and Drive:

  1. 1

    Eating Almost Always Takes Both Hands off the Wheel

    There are a thousand things that can distract a driver’s attention from the road, but eating is one of the worst! Fast food items come in paper bags that must be unfolded, wrappers that must be removed, require sauce packets that must be torn and squirted, and often drip onto the most inconvenient surfaces. If you bring along leftovers from home to consume during your commute, you must juggle container lids, cutlery, and less-than-convenient foods like spaghetti and steak. There’s simply no safe way to have your cake and drive, too.

    food in the car
    Your eyes are simply not on the road as they should be 100% of time

  2. 2

    (Non-alcoholic) Drinking and Driving Can Be Dangerous, Too

    Quenching your thirst while operating a vehicle can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Large to-go cups can obscure your field of vision as you bring them towards your mouth for a gulp. Straws need to be unwrapped and inserted into lids, taking your hands and eyes off of the road for several seconds. Popular twenty ounce sodas have caps that can be awkward to remove and replace and seemingly take on a life of their own as the fly through the vehicle and under the seat, never to be found again.

    drinking in the car
    It’s impossible to drink and turn a car or signal a turn at the same time

  3. 3

    Allowing Passengers to Eat in Our Car Distracts Your Attention from the Road

    A backseat full of friends chowing down on burgers and fries can be just as distracting as enjoying some drive-thru fare yourself. The smells and sounds of passengers eating while you are attempting to concentrate on the important task of driving, not to mention offers of fries and “bites,” can tempt you to turn around and take your eyes off the road.

    eating in the car
    Passing food around and choosing what to eat on the way is a bad decision

  4. 4

    A Car Full of Clutter Equals a Distracted, Dangerous Driver

    Every time you hit-up the drive-thru for a quick bite to eat, you are left with a paper sack full of trash, an empty cup, and a pile of greasy napkins. It’s easy to toss this mess into the floor board, creating a potentially hazardous cluttered driving environment.

    cups in the car
    These cups have a tendency to accumulate, fall under your seat and even get under pedals

Treating your vehicle like a make-shift dining room is asking for more than a big mess. Eating while driving puts yourself and other motorists at a higher risk of a crash.

How to make chowing down in the car less common:

  1. 1

    Eat before you leave

    Duh! Just don’t do it! Finish your bag of chip and take one last gulp of soda before you head out the door.

    eating outside your car
    Another option is to stop somewhere nice and enjoy your food with a beautiful view

  2. 2

    Don’t keep food in your vehicle

    A candy bar stuffed in the glove box is just too much to resist. If you must bring food with you when driving, store it in your back seat, well out of arm’s reach, so that grabbing a snack on the freeway isn’t an option.

  3. 3

    Eat in the parking lot

    If you go through a drive-thru to pick-up your lunch, take a few minutes to eat it in the restaurant’s parking lot. When you are finished eat, throw away your trash in the receptacles most chains have conveniently located among their parking spots.

  4. 4

    If you must, opt for a slim container

    If you must bring along a drink to stay hydrated on a long drive, opt for a slim container with an attached lid that you can open with one hand or your teeth.

    easy to open mug
    A thermo mug is always a better option compared to a plastic cup

1- things you should do before your driving knowledge exam

FREE e-Book: 10 Things You Should Do Before Your Driving Knowledge Exam

Many people get to the DMV overconfident and underprepared because they fail to do some of the simple things that would allow them to pass easily. What follows are the 10 steps that every aspiring driver should take to prepare for his or her official knowledge exam.

80% of people found this article helpful.
Click a star to add your vote
10 votes - average 4 out of 5
80% of people told us that this article helped them.

Up next

How to Easily Navigate a Drive-Thru Lane: New Drivers' Step-by-Step Guide

Drive-thru lanes are just one of the many modern conveniences that were designed especially for drivers. Drive-thru lanes are most commonly found in fast food restaurants and banks. While these two types of drive-thru lanes are similar in function, they have slightly different components. 5 Tips for Fast Food Drive-Thru Lanes1 When you enter the parking lot of a fast food restaurant, look for the drive-thru lane. It should be clearly marked on ...

Pit Stop Strategies: How to Use Informational Road Signs to Plan Smart Stops

Most automobile safety experts suggest that drivers should take a short break every two hours. If you are travelling with family members, friends, or pets, you could very well end up making multiple pit stops on even the most modest road trips. It is important for drivers to think ahead and plan to make scheduled stops but also to be aware of upcoming locations for emergency bathroom breaks or a few minutes of fresh air for a car-sick passenger. ...

7 Key Things You Should Do to Stay Safe During Long Drives

Whether you are stuck in traffic during your already lengthy commute or driving across the country for a family vacation, driving for long periods of time is accompanied by specific dangers. Drivers must take special precautions when they are in control of their vehicles for periods of time longer than a half hour or so. The strain of being in control of a vehicle for a long span can cause driver fatigue, a leading cause of accidents. There are se ...