It’s very clear that drinking alcohol before driving – or even while driving – is both illegal and dangerous. But people often think that it’s fine to eat or drink other goods in the car. In fact, having a cup of coffee on the way to the office is a staple for many commuters. About 62% of Americans have a cup of coffee daily. How much of that happens on the way into the office?
And, while no one would argue that coffee is as dangerous for a driver as alcohol, it is important to note that it can cause car accidents. Experts point out that eating or drinking anything in the car counts as a driving distraction. Like other distractions, such as a cell phone, this can take your attention away from the road and make you lose control of your car.
How can it be so dangerous?
When you think about it, drinking a cup of coffee isn’t that much different than using a cellphone. You have to use one hand to pick it up, meaning that you’re not holding the steering wheel. You look away from the road as you tip the cop up in front of your eyes, so it’s also a visual distraction.
Plus, if anything goes wrong, a boiling hot cup of coffee could cause severe burns. Even spilling a little bit on your hand could be enough to make you lose control of the vehicle as you react instinctively to that burn, rather than driving. It’s easy to think that you can safely drink coffee every time that you don’t encounter such a spell, but all it takes is one instance for an accident to occur.
You can’t control other drivers
You can certainly limit your own distractions in the car, and it’s wise to do so. But you could still be injured by another driver, so make sure you know how to seek financial compensation.