It’s the holiday season and we might as well affix busy to the beginning of that phrase. From school programs, office parties to the pure joy of holiday shopping at the local mall, our typical business is compounded. And because our lives are constantly on the go, inevitably our meals end up being to-go as well. As we continue to look at Distracted Driving, Bill Wolfe challenges us to put down the Starbucks® and McDonalds® this holiday season while behind the wheel.
Years ago there was a story in a small Texas town’s newspaper about a one-armed man who crashed his truck into a house. It turns out this fella was driving - a stick shift - while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! This story captured everyone’s attention, so much so, that it was common to hear Texans joke, “I’m busier than a one armed man driving a stick shift while eating a sandwich.”
Funny stories aside, distracted driving is not a joke. An article in the Daily News reported that eating while driving causes 80% of all car accidents.Eighty Percent! And, it gets worse. “Distractions like eating can become a problem for drivers who can’t react quickly to a sharp curve,” according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You may be surprised that the same study ranked coffee as the worst food to consume while driving, stating that even with a travel lid, “hot coffee finds its way out of tiny cup openings when you hit a bump.” The list of worst foods to consume while driving goes on to include soup, tacos, chili dogs, hamburgers, ribs/wings, fried chicken, jelly doughnuts, soda and chocolate. I’m surprised peanut butter and jelly sandwiches didn’t make the top ten list.
Many of you recently completed MAU’s defensive driving survey and for that I say THANK YOU! We learned much from the survey including our excessive, collective, and confessed eating-while-driving practices. Not good! Don’t wait until the New Year to resolutely eliminate eating while driving from your bad-habits list. Commit today to wait until you arrive at your destination to eat that hamburger or drink that coffee. You, your passengers, and folks traveling along with you will be safer thanks to your refusal-to-eat-while-driving resolution.
As for Bill Wolfe, I resolve to wake up 5 minutes earlier to drink my morning coffee in my kitchen before I get in my car! No more eating drive-through meals while driving for me. Won’t you join me please?
A Merry Christmas and safe New Year to you!
Interested in bringing more awareness to your employees when it comes to distracted driving, both at work and at home? Let us know if we can partner to help improve your safety program in the new year.