Is eating while driving a deadly habit?

It is not a shocking revelation that the list of driving distractions seems to grow with each passing year. Certainly, every new cell phone that is released contains an iterative technological advance that serves as yet another potential distraction. From texting to watching videos to personal grooming, there are innumerable activities that can pull a driver’s attention from the road.

Unfortunately, one of the most common behind-the-wheel actions is deceptively dangerous.


A multitude of studies have gathered data regarding some alarming statistics. For example:

  • According to a Lytx study, a driver who is eating or drinking is 3.6 times more likely to be in a motor vehicle crash than drivers not engaged in that activity.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that eating or drinking increases the likelihood of a crash or near-miss by nearly 39 percent.

Typically, distractions fall into three categories: manual, visual or cognitive. Some actions, like texting, cross over into all three categories. Additionally, eating will likely fall into two if not all three categories making it a serious, deadly distraction.

The reality is that most Americans will either eat breakfast on the drive to school, grab dinner on the way home from work or choose a mid-day snack while driving from errand to errand. Eating or drinking while behind the wheel could very well be as common as making a phone call to pass the time. The problem is that drivers don’t consider eating or drinking a distraction. It is a necessary multi-tasking event. Drinking a soda or coffee while behind the wheel is one of the most common activities seen on the road.

Distracted drivers, though, can cause some of the most destructive collisions on the road. High-speed wrecks, head-on collisions – the injuries can be severe and even fatal. If you were injured by a distracted driver, it is wise to seek legal guidance to learn more about your options.