Eating While Driving

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Replies

  • everher
    everher Posts: 909 Member
    I typically eat fast food in my car, but I'm not looking down or taking both my hands off the wheel.
  • DKG28
    DKG28 Posts: 299 Member
    I drive manual, so there's no eating while driving in stop and go traffic. I find the biggest problem with eating while driving is not so much the consuming, which can be done one-handed, but the opening/unwrapping. It takes two hands to open a bag of chips, a granola bar wrapper, a wrapped burger if you don't want to spill the contents. If I have to eat in the car, i'll unwrap before I start driving, or leave the parking lot of the fast food joint. I use cupholders to hold snacks, not just drinks. I always put my coffee cup back in the holder between sips to minimize spilling on myself. I think dropping food/spilling drinks is probably the biggest food-related driving distraction.
  • mph323
    mph323 Posts: 3,566 Member
    I just retired from a 4 hour daily commute, and yes I eat and drink while I'm driving. I really have to agree with ninerbuff that long commutes and eating in the car contribute to weight gain, at least in my case. It was really easy to dig into a bag of french fries or a bag of cookies without having to mess around with wrappers or drips. Of course there's more nutrient-dense food available with the same convenience, but I was stress-eating, and I think that may be a factor for many people when routinely driving long distances.

    I also want to add to the list of things that contribute to distracted driving for me, and that's driving through interesting scenery. I'll catch myself focusing on something I'm driving by, and realize I'm not paying attention to traffic. I've had a couple of near-misses in the past so I'm hyper-aware of that tendency in myself.
  • JenSD6
    JenSD6 Posts: 454 Member
    I have a "no eating in the car" rule. I don't want garbage, food debris, or sticky fingers on anything. Especially when my car was brand new. There are also enough bad drivers out there that I can't afford to be distracted. A meal bar is about as much as I'd risk eating while driving. My coffee travel mug goes with me every morning, but I pretty much only drink when stopped at a light.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    aylajane wrote: »
    Driving is a very coordinated effort that requires a great deal of attention and personal responsibility. Accidents can be caused by a wide variety of circumstances - some avoidable and personally responsible (texting, etc) some not (a wasp suddenly lands on your face and startles you - happens to me a lot where I live). Everyone should exercise the utmost caution and responsibility, but it is possible to eat or drink and not be any more "distracted" that someone using a stick shift who has to not only let go of the wheel with one hand, but find the right gear without looking, and while simultaneously working the clutch and the gas pedal - to me that is a lot to do at once, while trying to pay attention to the traffic and road etc. Someone taking a bite of a cereal bar is safer to me :)


    I'm guessing you have never driven a stick shift. If so, you would not mention the idea of being able to get the car in the correct gear without looking as an issue.

    I've put about 500,000 miles on 2 cars with stick shifts in the last 16 years. When driving a stick, most people will not be eating, messing with phone, make-up, etc because they have to actually be driving the car. I'd maintain, just on my own experience manual transmissions lead to less distracted driving.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    aylajane wrote: »
    Driving is a very coordinated effort that requires a great deal of attention and personal responsibility. Accidents can be caused by a wide variety of circumstances - some avoidable and personally responsible (texting, etc) some not (a wasp suddenly lands on your face and startles you - happens to me a lot where I live). Everyone should exercise the utmost caution and responsibility, but it is possible to eat or drink and not be any more "distracted" that someone using a stick shift who has to not only let go of the wheel with one hand, but find the right gear without looking, and while simultaneously working the clutch and the gas pedal - to me that is a lot to do at once, while trying to pay attention to the traffic and road etc. Someone taking a bite of a cereal bar is safer to me :)


    I'm guessing you have never driven a stick shift. If so, you would not mention the idea of being able to get the car in the correct gear without looking as an issue.

    I've put about 500,000 miles on 2 cars with stick shifts in the last 16 years. When driving a stick, most people will not be eating, messing with phone, make-up, etc because they have to actually be driving the car. I'd maintain, just on my own experience manual transmissions lead to less distracted driving.

    That's funny. But I think you're serious. And you've never seen someone eating or putting on makeup while driving a standard.

  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,183 Member
    edited July 2017
    Back then, I ate before getting in the car, while in the car, and after exiting the car. Nowadays, not so often. That's a function of simply not getting my calories from drive-through places, or simply choosing to walk in anyway.

    I haven't had a stick in about 25 years. It was indeed 'complex' to drive and dine simultaneously.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    aylajane wrote: »
    Driving is a very coordinated effort that requires a great deal of attention and personal responsibility. Accidents can be caused by a wide variety of circumstances - some avoidable and personally responsible (texting, etc) some not (a wasp suddenly lands on your face and startles you - happens to me a lot where I live). Everyone should exercise the utmost caution and responsibility, but it is possible to eat or drink and not be any more "distracted" that someone using a stick shift who has to not only let go of the wheel with one hand, but find the right gear without looking, and while simultaneously working the clutch and the gas pedal - to me that is a lot to do at once, while trying to pay attention to the traffic and road etc. Someone taking a bite of a cereal bar is safer to me :)


    I'm guessing you have never driven a stick shift. If so, you would not mention the idea of being able to get the car in the correct gear without looking as an issue.

    I've put about 500,000 miles on 2 cars with stick shifts in the last 16 years. When driving a stick, most people will not be eating, messing with phone, make-up, etc because they have to actually be driving the car. I'd maintain, just on my own experience manual transmissions lead to less distracted driving.

    That's funny. But I think you're serious. And you've never seen someone eating or putting on makeup while driving a standard.

    Of course I have. I said based on my experience it leads to less distracted driving, sure doesn't eliminate it.
  • aylajane
    aylajane Posts: 979 Member
    edited July 2017
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    aylajane wrote: »
    Driving is a very coordinated effort that requires a great deal of attention and personal responsibility. Accidents can be caused by a wide variety of circumstances - some avoidable and personally responsible (texting, etc) some not (a wasp suddenly lands on your face and startles you - happens to me a lot where I live). Everyone should exercise the utmost caution and responsibility, but it is possible to eat or drink and not be any more "distracted" that someone using a stick shift who has to not only let go of the wheel with one hand, but find the right gear without looking, and while simultaneously working the clutch and the gas pedal - to me that is a lot to do at once, while trying to pay attention to the traffic and road etc. Someone taking a bite of a cereal bar is safer to me :)


    I'm guessing you have never driven a stick shift. If so, you would not mention the idea of being able to get the car in the correct gear without looking as an issue.

    I've put about 500,000 miles on 2 cars with stick shifts in the last 16 years. When driving a stick, most people will not be eating, messing with phone, make-up, etc because they have to actually be driving the car. I'd maintain, just on my own experience manual transmissions lead to less distracted driving.

    Actually I have had several stick shifts. After 500k miles on 2 cars, I am sure *you* dont ever have to look. But do you think everyone out there driving a stick shift has the experience you do? That person in the lane next to you might have gotten that car that week. Some cars have the gears in different places. Some have reverse on opposite sides. Some have 5 gears, some 6. Not every person you encounter driving a stick shift is going to be as "smooth" as you. And I still maintain that a person driving an automatic with one hand while eating a cereal bar from the other can be "safer" than some people driving a stick shift. Stick shifts require not only both hands but both feet to all coordinate at the same time, all the while dealing with the same traffic circumstances as someone driving an automatic who only requires one hand and one foot. It is inherently more "complex". Yes, people can be very good at it, but especially in the past 10-15 years, it is getting much less common and younger people do not have the same experience you do.

    I am not saying driving a stick is a bad/dangerous/thing. The opposite actually - my point was that eating a snack while driving is really not that inherently dangerous - no more so than driving a stick shift. It is perfectly accepted that driving a stick is not "distracting", and I dont think all eating situations are either.

    Personal responsibility and common sense are the key. unforunately, there is no common sense portion on the driving exam.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    edited July 2017
    aylajane wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    aylajane wrote: »
    Driving is a very coordinated effort that requires a great deal of attention and personal responsibility. Accidents can be caused by a wide variety of circumstances - some avoidable and personally responsible (texting, etc) some not (a wasp suddenly lands on your face and startles you - happens to me a lot where I live). Everyone should exercise the utmost caution and responsibility, but it is possible to eat or drink and not be any more "distracted" that someone using a stick shift who has to not only let go of the wheel with one hand, but find the right gear without looking, and while simultaneously working the clutch and the gas pedal - to me that is a lot to do at once, while trying to pay attention to the traffic and road etc. Someone taking a bite of a cereal bar is safer to me :)


    I'm guessing you have never driven a stick shift. If so, you would not mention the idea of being able to get the car in the correct gear without looking as an issue.

    I've put about 500,000 miles on 2 cars with stick shifts in the last 16 years. When driving a stick, most people will not be eating, messing with phone, make-up, etc because they have to actually be driving the car. I'd maintain, just on my own experience manual transmissions lead to less distracted driving.

    Actually I have had several stick shifts. After 500k miles on 2 cars, I am sure *you* dont ever have to look. But do you think everyone out there driving a stick shift has the experience you do? That person in the lane next to you might have gotten that car that week. Some cars have the gears in different places. Some have reverse on opposite sides. Some have 5 gears, some 6. Not every person you encounter driving a stick shift is going to be as "smooth" as you. And I still maintain that a person driving an automatic with one hand while eating a cereal bar from the other can be "safer" than some people driving a stick shift. Stick shifts require not only both hands but both feet to all coordinate at the same time, all the while dealing with the same traffic circumstances as someone driving an automatic who only requires one hand and one foot. It is inherently more "complex". Yes, people can be very good at it, but especially in the past 10-15 years, it is getting much less common and younger people do not have the same experience you do.

    I am not saying driving a stick is a bad/dangerous/thing. The opposite actually - my point was that eating a snack while driving is really not that inherently dangerous - no more so than driving a stick shift. It is perfectly accepted that driving a stick is not "distracting", and I dont think all eating situations are either.

    Personal responsibility and common sense are the key. unforunately, there is no common sense portion on the driving exam.

    Of course there may be slight learning curve when someone gets a different car, but that is minimal.

    Apparently insurance companies don't consider shifting a manual transmission vehicle distracting otherwise they would charge more for than an automatic then the same vehicle with an automatic.

  • aylajane
    aylajane Posts: 979 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    aylajane wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    aylajane wrote: »
    Driving is a very coordinated effort that requires a great deal of attention and personal responsibility. Accidents can be caused by a wide variety of circumstances - some avoidable and personally responsible (texting, etc) some not (a wasp suddenly lands on your face and startles you - happens to me a lot where I live). Everyone should exercise the utmost caution and responsibility, but it is possible to eat or drink and not be any more "distracted" that someone using a stick shift who has to not only let go of the wheel with one hand, but find the right gear without looking, and while simultaneously working the clutch and the gas pedal - to me that is a lot to do at once, while trying to pay attention to the traffic and road etc. Someone taking a bite of a cereal bar is safer to me :)


    I'm guessing you have never driven a stick shift. If so, you would not mention the idea of being able to get the car in the correct gear without looking as an issue.

    I've put about 500,000 miles on 2 cars with stick shifts in the last 16 years. When driving a stick, most people will not be eating, messing with phone, make-up, etc because they have to actually be driving the car. I'd maintain, just on my own experience manual transmissions lead to less distracted driving.

    Actually I have had several stick shifts. After 500k miles on 2 cars, I am sure *you* dont ever have to look. But do you think everyone out there driving a stick shift has the experience you do? That person in the lane next to you might have gotten that car that week. Some cars have the gears in different places. Some have reverse on opposite sides. Some have 5 gears, some 6. Not every person you encounter driving a stick shift is going to be as "smooth" as you. And I still maintain that a person driving an automatic with one hand while eating a cereal bar from the other can be "safer" than some people driving a stick shift. Stick shifts require not only both hands but both feet to all coordinate at the same time, all the while dealing with the same traffic circumstances as someone driving an automatic who only requires one hand and one foot. It is inherently more "complex". Yes, people can be very good at it, but especially in the past 10-15 years, it is getting much less common and younger people do not have the same experience you do.

    I am not saying driving a stick is a bad/dangerous/thing. The opposite actually - my point was that eating a snack while driving is really not that inherently dangerous - no more so than driving a stick shift. It is perfectly accepted that driving a stick is not "distracting", and I dont think all eating situations are either.

    Personal responsibility and common sense are the key. unforunately, there is no common sense portion on the driving exam.

    Of course there may be slight learning curve when someone gets a different car, but that is minimal.

    Apparently insurance companies don't consider shifting a manual transmission vehicle distracting otherwise they would charge more for than an automatic then the same vehicle with an automatic.

    Again, I was not complaining that they were distracting.The OP was asking if eating while driving was too much of a distraction and dangerous. I was pointing out that eating a cereal bar while driving an automatic was no more distracting than driving a stick shift. I agree, people get used to it and do just fine. Same with eating a cereal bar.
  • Ironandwine69
    Ironandwine69 Posts: 2,432 Member
    Ya know what's worse than eating and driving? Mixing your protein shake while driving. It's weird how your legs move along with your arms.
    Or so I've heard.
  • CipherZero
    CipherZero Posts: 1,418 Member
    The real danger of eating and driving is... choking on food behind the wheel. Outside of the usual places people eat (home, restaurants) it's the most common place to die from choking according to my last CPR instructor.
  • SuzySunshine99
    SuzySunshine99 Posts: 2,766 Member
    edited July 2017
    CipherZero wrote: »
    The real danger of eating and driving is... choking on food behind the wheel. Outside of the usual places people eat (home, restaurants) it's the most common place to die from choking according to my last CPR instructor.

    Hadn't thought of that. You're probably more likely to be alone (without help) in your car than at home or in a restaurant.
  • theresejesu
    theresejesu Posts: 120 Member
    edited July 2017
    I occasionally see posts asking for advice on what's good to eat while driving.

    Do you think eating while driving is okay? Do you do it? Why or why not? Have you ever been in/almost been in an accident because of it?

    My opinion: Anything that takes your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road is dangerous. I don't buy the argument that you don't have time to eat unless it's in the car.

    I was involved in an accident due to the other driver eating while he was driving. He had dropped his food and got flustered.

    My husband suffered permanent injuries from being hit by a distracted driver while riding his bike. The woman was texting at the time.

    What's your opinion?

    Washington state just made it illegal to eat and drive for that very reason.

    The only safe way really is to eat something small like nuts, etc. Easy to handle, and if you drop them, it's no big deal.

  • theresejesu
    theresejesu Posts: 120 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    aylajane wrote: »
    Driving is a very coordinated effort that requires a great deal of attention and personal responsibility. Accidents can be caused by a wide variety of circumstances - some avoidable and personally responsible (texting, etc) some not (a wasp suddenly lands on your face and startles you - happens to me a lot where I live). Everyone should exercise the utmost caution and responsibility, but it is possible to eat or drink and not be any more "distracted" that someone using a stick shift who has to not only let go of the wheel with one hand, but find the right gear without looking, and while simultaneously working the clutch and the gas pedal - to me that is a lot to do at once, while trying to pay attention to the traffic and road etc. Someone taking a bite of a cereal bar is safer to me :)


    I'm guessing you have never driven a stick shift. If so, you would not mention the idea of being able to get the car in the correct gear without looking as an issue.

    I've put about 500,000 miles on 2 cars with stick shifts in the last 16 years. When driving a stick, most people will not be eating, messing with phone, make-up, etc because they have to actually be driving the car. I'd maintain, just on my own experience manual transmissions lead to less distracted driving.

    That's funny. But I think you're serious. And you've never seen someone eating or putting on makeup while driving a standard.

    Driving a stick shift didn't stop me from eating in a car.
  • theresejesu
    theresejesu Posts: 120 Member
    everher wrote: »
    I typically eat fast food in my car, but I'm not looking down or taking both my hands off the wheel.

    How do you eat fast food with both hands on the wheel?