Risks of Snacking While Driving for use by 360 Magazine


As drivers around the country excitedly hit the road for their summer vacations after being stuck at home for the past year, they’re thinking about fuel—not just fuel for their cars, but also fuel for their bodies. They’re getting that fuel from a variety of snacks they indulge in while behind the wheel—from sweet to savory to salty options.

A recent Insure.com survey on favorite foods to eat while driving, asks 1,000 drivers what they prefer to munch on in the car, and the majority of them, 39%, say candy bars are their favorite driving food.

Other popular snacks for those with a sweet tooth include doughnuts (18%), ice cream cones (7%) and muffins (5%). On the other hand, those who crave something more savory turn to French fries (37%), breakfast sandwiches (25%), chicken nuggets (23%) and hamburgers (19%), while the more health conscious report that fresh fruit (20%), granola or energy bars (20%) and yogurt (2%) are their favorite driving fuel.

Consequences of Snacking While Driving

Although 74% of drivers say they realize eating behind the wheel is a form of distracted driving, they have several reasons for doing it anyway:

  • Staying on schedule during a road trip — 22%
  • Convenience — 21%
  • Long commutes — 20%
  • Saving time on the road to spend more time at the destination — 19%
  • Not having time to eat at home or at a restaurant — 13%
  • Rarely cook — 5%

Whatever the reason drivers have for munching while motoring, there can be serious consequences. While 59% of drivers say they’ve managed to avoid an accident and a ticket despite stuffing their faces on the road, others have not been so lucky:

  • 15% nearly missed having an accident
  • 12% had a fender bender (damage under $2,000)
  • 6% had a major accident (damage over $2,000)
  • 4% were pulled over by police for a traffic violation

Eating while driving can also raise insurance rates, even among the best car insurance companies. Insure.com rate analysis finds that those with a distracted driving ticket on their record see a 22% average increase in their rates, as well as the loss of their safe driver discounts, which can shave 10% to 25% off premiums.

“Eating while driving may satisfy your hunger, but it could leave your wallet empty if you have to pay for car repairs, tickets and higher insurance rates,” notes Les Masterson, managing editor for Insure.com. “If you do have tickets or accidents that increase your auto insurance rates, be sure to shop around and get quotes from multiple car insurance companies. Although your current insurer may raise your rates, you still may be able to get a deal from another company.”

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