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The dangers of eating and drinking while driving

Awareness of the dangers of both drunk driving and cell phone use while driving has increased greatly in recent years, so much so that many in Clinton may be more cognizant of avoiding such practices. Yet there exists another form of dangerous driving behavior that does not get nearly as much exposure: eating and drinking while driving. Indeed, information shared by Exxon Mobil shows that as many as 70 percent of drivers admit to eating while behind the wheel, while 83 percent say that have consumed beverages while driving.

Eating and drinking seem to many to be such natural actions that most might not even view them as being distracting. This is no doubt the reason why so many do it while driving (one might even that automakers encourage it by incorporating cup holders in vehicle designs). Yet both actions require that drivers take their eyes and attention off the road, and at least one of their hands off the steering wheel. Some might argue that even if eating and drinking are distracting, they only require a moment or two of one’s attention. When one is traveling down the road in a vehicle at high speeds, a moment of distraction can easily put one in a dangerous position that can lead to a car accident.

So exactly how much can eating and drinking while driving impact one’s performance behind the wheel? In a joint effort between the Auto Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to highlight the dangers of these practices, it was discovered that those who eat and drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than those who avoid doing so. 

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