We are a society on the go. Frequently, many Texas drivers grab a bagel, a doughnut or a cup of coffee to eat or drink as they drive their vehicles through San Antonio’s busy thoroughfares. But as drive-safely.net points out, you might be dramatically increasing your chances of getting into a vehicular collision and do not even know it. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that you increase your odds of getting into a car crash by 80 percent if you eat on the road.

If it seems odd that eating while driving can be dangerous, remember that texting while driving can contribute to automobile collisions for the same reason. Both eating and texting while driving divide your attention from the road. Without full concentration on your driving, you are more likely to neglect a crucial driving decision until it is too late. The end result could total your vehicle and inflict a catastrophic injury on you and other parties involved.

Additionally, food and drink cause special problems for a motorist. Quite simply, food is messy. Just about anything from powdered doughnuts to hamburgers, chili, hot dogs, tacos and chocolate make you more likely than not to get food all over your hands and on your steering wheel, which can cause harmful driving distractions. Sudden stops can also send food flying all over you and your dashboard. Open soup containers and drink cups without lids are particularly susceptible to messing up the inside of a vehicle.

In addition to occupying part of your mental concentration, eating and drinking creates actions that keep at least one of your hands off the steering wheel. For instance, you have to free up a hand to lift a cup or piece of food to your mouth. Also, a lot of food will leave residue on your hands. Even fried chicken, which is not as messy as other foods, still leaves grease on your hands. You would likely want to wipe your hands clean with a tissue. All of these actions cause you to remove a hand from your wheel and decrease your control over your automobile.

Even though we may have that morning craving for coffee or a doughnut, it is more important to arrive at home, work or school safe and sound. Eating while behind the wheel is still distracted driving and can result in the horrific consequences of catastrophic injury that other forms of distracting driving cause.

Please be aware that this article, while written to educate on the causes of automobile collisions, does not offer readers any legal advice.