When most Tampa drivers thinking about distracted driving behaviors, they imagine texting while driving. However, there are many other behaviors that can also be very dangerous, both for the motorist doing them as well as other drivers. Eating while driving might seem harmless, but it can also lead to serious distractions, which in turn can lead to accidents.

Understanding distracted driving

Anything that takes your attention away from the road is a driving distraction. Additionally, there are actually three types of driving distractions that can prove damaging on the road. Manual distractions are those that involve taking your hands from the wheel. Visual distractions occur when you take your eyes off the road. Even glancing at a passenger in your vehicle can be dangerous in the case. There are also cognitive distractions. Even if your hands and eyes are where they should be, letting your mind wander may prevent you from properly reacting to a sudden occurrence or road hazard.

Some actions behind the wheel are highly dangerous because they include all types of distracted driving. Along with texting while driving, eating while driving may also involve cognitive, manual, and visual distractions. For example, you might take your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to reach into a fast-food bag. If you spill food or drink, your mind will also be preoccupied with cleaning up the mess.

What you can do to lower the risk of an accident

Make time for meals before setting out for the day. If you often eat breakfast in your vehicle, wake up early enough to have the meal at home. The same should be true of lunchtime at work. If you do not have time to run out and eat, bring meals from home and eat them in your workplace’s breakroom.

If you are traveling and hungry, find a restaurant and stop for a bite to eat. You can also eat in your vehicle after finding a safe place to stop, where you will not be in the way of traffic. No matter what you do, do not fall victim to the belief that eating while driving is harmless. It, like all other driving distractions, can cause serious wrecks that involve multiple vehicles.