Driving Distractions: Do You Need Cream and Sugar?

Early one morning last week while sitting at a traffic light, I watched a man eating a bowl of cereal. He carefully lifted each spoonful to his mouth and then drove off when the light changed.

I've been known to eat while driving - wadded up hamburger wrappers under the front seats give ample testimony. The large brown coffee stain on the carpet tells the tale of a sharp turn and a drink carrier stability problem. Occasionally, I clean out the neat little take-out boxes that once held prime rib sandwiches. I know about eating and driving but even I have never eaten cereal while driving, although I was once tempted to sample some doggie-bag spaghetti while driving home from a restuarant.

In our rapid-paced auto-erratic world many people save time by eating on the run. We don't want to eat right . . . we want to eat right now!

Like cell phone use, eating is a distraction and is the cause of many auto accidents, especially in the morning. Food is not so much the culprit, but rather the vehicle. Drivers on their way to work don't want to arrive at the office with a chest full of dribbles. So, they watch for globs, gobs, and drips - taking their eyes off the road.

Taco Bell has taken the need for fast-food driving to heart. Many of their new products are designed to be more drip-dry with thicker shredded cheese and crunchier taco shells that hold together better.

Here are the worst food/accident offenders:
  • Coffee
  • Hot soup
  • Tacos
  • Chili-covered food
  • Juicy hamburgers
  • Barbecue
  • Fried chicken
  • Jelly-and cream-filled donuts
  • Soft drinks
  • Chocolate
    (Source: Haggerty Classic Insurance)
  • To me, chocolate is the shocker on the list. It's so easy to nibble on a chocolate bar or bon bon while driving. It seems so innocuous, but stop and think how chocolate can stain, specially on a hot day. A piece of Brown & Haley Bavarian Cr