By Rosalyn Binday
Put down that burger! Experts say that eating while driving can increase a motorist’s chances of a car accident by up to a whopping 80 percent — and no Big Mac is worth your safety or the safety of your loved ones.
Eating while driving is just one of the many symptoms of what has become a distracted-driving epidemic. According to Robert Passmore, the senior director of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, “Cell phone usage is only one of the many bad habits that are distracting American Drivers. Distracted driving is a serious problem and in our increasingly mobile world, it is becoming the norm. As we have seen with other motor safety issues such as seatbelt use and drunk driving, there is not single answer to addressing the problem of distracted driving. Finding the solution involves addressing distracted driving on multiple fronts including laws, enforcement, public education and primarily personal responsibility.”
The Insurance for Highway Safety (IIHS) noted that 35 states have banned texting while driving, and beginner drivers are restricted from using cell phones in 30 states. And it’s not only phone use that we have to worry about. 86 percent of adults admit to eating/drinking, 41 percent adjust their GPS, and a quarter of respondents said they’ve driven after having two or more alcoholic drinks.
Passmore believes that “the pervasive use of cell phone and other devices while driving has changed how we operate in our cars. Too often, our cars have become high speed mobile offices.” At Advocate, we urge you to put your phone, coffee, and sandwich down and to slow down. Multi-tasking behind the wheel is downright dangerous!