Insurance Experts: Do not Eat and Drive


For any motorist involved in an accident, it is always the other driver’s fault. While it may be natural to blame the other party for a car crash, research has found that most accidents are caused by distractions affecting the driver’s ability to react swiftly to any situation. In fact, a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that some 80 percent of all car accidents were caused by driver distraction. The same study also pointed to driver distraction as the cause of 65 percent of all near-accidents.

Insurance Experts: Do not Eat and DriveResearchers concluded that distractions often caused drivers tailing behind other cars to be caught off guard when faced with sudden changes in road and traffic conditions. Such distractions resulted in rear-end collisions, especially on freeways where cars often speed along close to each other. Not surprisingly, experts say that eating while driving is one of the most common driver distractions.

Insurance experts say that being involved in a single accident, no matter how minor, can cause premiums to increase by as much as 25 percent. This sudden spike can remain for several years even if policyholders shift providers. The details surrounding car accidents can also be a contributing factor to expensive premiums. Providers can even choose to increase rates if any previous accidents were caused by distractions like eating while behind the wheel.

Obviously, experts say, there are some foods that increase the possibility of getting into accidents. For instance, drinking coffee or any beverage for that matter, brings with the risk of spilling liquid over the driver, leading to momentary distraction. Any loss of concentration and focus, no matter how short, have the potential to result in violent car crashes. Hot liquids can also make drivers react instinctively and jerk away from the beverage, possibly leading to loss of control. Losing control of a vehicle speeding along a busy freeway can mean disaster.

There have even been reports of accidents being caused by motorists drinking soup while driving. While this may sound outrageous, insurance analysts say that there have been documented cases of car crashes as a result of eating various food types. Industry sources say that avoiding potentially fatal and costly accidents is as easy as pulling over and finishing whatever it is drivers are eating.

A car owner’s driving records plays a crucial part in the computation for insurance premiums. Having a relatively clean record can convince providers to lower rates because of the lower risks involved. On the other hand, a spotty record with serious incidents can automatically mean higher premiums because of the added risk. Worse, drivers can expect other providers to charge similar rates for years ahead.