Eating while driving is, apparently, one of the most distracting things you can do, according to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute -- 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction.
For that reason, Insurance.com has published a list of the top 10 food offenders in a car are:
- Coffee – Even in cups with travel lids, somehow the liquid finds its way out of the opening each time you hit a bump.
- Hot soup – Many people drink it like coffee and run the same risks.
- Tacos – Any food that can disassemble itself will leave your car looking like a salad bar.
- Chili dogs – The potential for drips and slops down the front of clothing is significant.
- Hamburgers – From the grease of the burger to ketchup and mustard, it could all end up on your hands, your clothes, and the steering wheel.
- Barbecued food – Ditto. The sauce may be great, but if you have to lick your fingers, the sauce will end up on whatever you touch – and that wheel will be tough to grip.
- Fried chicken – Another food that leaves you with greasy hands, which means constantly wiping them on something, even if it's your shirt.
- Jelly or cream-filled donuts – Have you eaten a jelly donut without some of the center oozing out? It's simply not possible.
- Soft drinks – Not only are they subject to spills, but also the carbonated kind can fizz as you're drinking if you make sudden movements, and most of us remember cola fizz in the nose from childhood. It isn't any more pleasant now.
- Chocolate – Like greasy foods, chocolate coats the fingers as it melts, leaving its mark anywhere you touch. As you try to clean it off the steering wheel you're likely to end up swerving.
A 2001 survey of drivers for Exxon showed that more than 70 percent of drivers reported that they eat while driving, up from 58 percent in 1995. Some even report having a microwave in the car.