Driving kills, eating doesn't have to
Distracted driving is an important topic, and the dangers of handheld devices are paramount, but not the only danger. Eating behind the wheel is major.
“Distraction is distraction, no matter how you slice it,” said Gareth Jones, President of the Canada Safety Council. We have to be vigilant at all times and stay focused on the very task of driving, he adds.
Driving requires full attention. Anything that removes your focus from the road is a distraction. Hence: phoning in any manner, reprogramming your radio or GPS, grooming, talking to passengers -- and eating and drinking.
A momentary loss of focus on the road can cost you a second or two in which to react to a sudden change in expected traffic or behaviour. That lost moment can make all the difference. Do you eat behind the wheel? To avoid trouble:
Take extra time; eat before or wait.
Don’t keep food in your vehicle. Or out of reach so you pull over for a break.
Wait until you’re fully stopped before drinking anything. Do not drink alcohol behind the wheel.
Picking up take-out food, wait until arrival before eating.
Worst case, pull over,park and eat while immobile.
No meal is worth endangering the lives of your fellow road users or your own. Act responsibly and help keep Canadian roads safe for us all.
Lewis Smith, Canada Safety Council