Have you ever thought how dangerous it might be to have to concentrate on opening a candy bar while you are driving? Or, have you ever been sitting at a stoplight and watched the dad in the minivan next to you unwrap six junior cheeseburgers for the kids in the car seats behind him?
Like texting while driving, eating is also a big distraction that can interfere with your reaction times. “Most car accidents are caused by drivers not paying attention,” says Eric Bolton, a spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Distraction was most likely to be involved in rear-end collisions in which the vehicle was stopped, and in single-vehicle crashes.”
Hagerty Classic Insurance, a company that provides insurance for classic cars, often receives claims for damage to car interiors caused by food. They took a closer look at the issue and found some of the top offenders. Anything that spills easily is likely to be distracting, particularly during drivers’ morning commutes. When drivers are on their way to work, a clothing spill can make drivers more eager to try to clean up the mess while driving because they are pressed for time.
Here are ten of the most dangerous foods to eat while driving…
1. Coffee is most likely to spill out of the cup even with a lid when you hit a bump. This is yet another reason to start using a secure reusable cup.
2. Hot soup is also likely to spill when you hit a bump, if you are sipping it from a cup.
3. “A food that can disassemble itself without much help, leaving your car looking like a salad bar,” says McKeel Hagerty of Hagerty Classic Insurance.
4. Chili dogs are dangerous for the same reasons as tacos, with the extra mess factor of chili.
5. Hamburgers are considered one of the most dangerous foods to eat while driving because they make your hands greasy, making it harder to grip the steering wheel.
6. Barbequed food. We’re not sure who’s eating ribs while they drive, but the messy sauce is sure to give a driver slippery hands and necessitate finger licking.
7. Fried chicken will also cause your hands and the steering wheel to get greasy and be slippery.
8. Jelly- or cream-filled donuts are dangerous because they are almost impossible to eat without some of the gooey center dripping out.
9. Like coffee, soda easily splashes out from a cup or a can.
10. Chocolate melts on fingers and then you are trying to get it off the steering wheel without swerving.
In addition to most of these foods being unhealthy on their own, they can also put your health at risk by taking your attention off the road. The next time you are hungry before taking a drive, take a few extra minutes to eat before you leave or wait until you reach your destination.
Originally published on Health Watch Center.