Eating While Driving

Why is eating while driving such a bad idea? What you need to know about eating behind the wheel of a car.

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Eating While Driving

Everyone feels the need to drive through a fast food restaurant to get something to eat on the way to work or school, knowing this is an easy way to get a meal in while you’re busy. However, eating while driving is risky and is a common type of distracted driving. If you have a habit of eating while driving, it’s important to understand the risks, and with these helpful tips, you may be able to avoid some of those high-risk situations.

Eating and Driving Risks – Should You Do It?

Why is it so bad to eat while you are driving? Eating and driving creates a form of distraction from the road. When a person is eating, he or she has one hand off the wheel. That limits reaction time and can mean you are more likely to be involved in an accident.


It also creates a higher risk of problems occurring. For example, if you drop something, you may react instantly to trying to clean it up. This type of incident can cause you to swerve the car or otherwise veer out of your lane. And, when you are not focused on the road, you are unable to respond fast enough to the risks present there. The fact is, driving and eating can be risky, just like applying makeup is or talking on the phone can be.

Eating in a Car and Reckless Driving – What Your Auto Insurer Wants You to Know

When possible, avoid eating in a car. It’s a type of reckless driving if you are pulled over. Here’s what could happen. You are driving along eating a sandwich. You spill something, so you look down instinctively to see what happened. As you do, you don’t notice the bend in the road, you end up in another lane, and you strike another car or a person’s property. When the police pull you over to find out what happened, they may charge you with distracted driving or reckless driving.


This type of charge puts points on your license. And, if your auto insurance company learns of this (which they usually do) that could mean your car insurance costs rise. All of this can happen from a simple mistake. It’s best to avoid it when you can do so. You want to be viewed as a safe driver to your insurer in all situations.

Eating While Driving Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to eating while driving, there are some key things to remember. First, if you have to munch on something while you are on the road, choose something that is not going to be messy. Also, do not try to hold something in your hand and eat out of it, such as a container. Instead, place it in the cup holder of your car and pick it up piece by piece.


You also don’t want to eat anything you have to look at in order to eat. Choose a snack that you can hold in your hand. That may mean you shouldn’t eat a full meal in the car. Instead, pull over and head off the roadway to eat more than just a few bites.

When You Need to Have Food in the Car

There are times when a person needs to have food in a car. You may be on a long road trip and have a condition in which your blood sugar can drop. No matter the need, if you have to have food in the car, choose wisely. Select fruit snacks or protein snacks. Do not choose something you have to fiddle with to get open either. Keep things as simple as possible to minimize the risk that you are going to struggle with it while you are behind the wheel.

How to Avoid Eating and Drinking While Driving

Whenever possible, simply avoid eating and drinking while driving. Drinking in itself can be a distraction if you have to open a bottle or fidget with a lid. Instead of this, try to eat a meal before you get on the road. You may also want to plan to stop for a meal if the trip is long. Building some extra time into your trip like this is also good for getting out and stretching. It can give your mind the ability to focus again as well.


There is no doubt that distracted driving is a real issue in terms of causing accidents or creating dangerous situations. Whenever it is possible to do so, limit eating while driving. It keeps you safe and helps others on the road with you to remain safe. Eating and driving is not necessarily illegal, but it can cause reckless driving and accidents, which do carry some legal risks to you. Avoid these types of situations whenever it is possible to do so for your own safety.