One-third of respondents had an accident or got a ticket because of eating while driving
Foster City, CA – July 21, 2020 – Gasoline fuels America’s cars, but what fuels America’s drivers? Insure.com surveyed 1,000 drivers to ask just that – and – if snacking while driving is seen as a distraction. The comprehensive source for insurance information asked respondents several questions including what type of food, how often they eat while driving, the consequences of doing so and more.
Drivers’ Top Five Favorite Foods
- Granola or energy bar - 17%
- French fries - 14%
- Potato chips - 11%
- Candy bars - 9%
- Hamburgers - 6%
Most Distracting Moments
- Unwrapping food - 30%
- Wiping a spill or stain - 24%
- Reaching for something at the bottom of a bag - 22%
The report shows many drivers view eating while driving as a distraction (66%), but more than two-thirds have never had an accident, a near-miss or received a ticket because of it (70%). Some food for thought though - the Governor's Highway Safety Association says distracted driving led to 2,841 deaths or 7.8% of total traffic fatalities in 2018.
Accidents from Eating and Driving
- Near miss - 18%
- Fender bender with damage less than $2,000 - 11%
- Major accident with damage more than $2,000 - 6%
Some states made eating while driving illegal while others cite or ticket drivers for distracted or reckless driving. Car insurance companies will see the infraction, which can lead to higher auto insurance rates. An Insure.com analysis shows that rates rise by an average of 22% for a distracted driving ticket.
- Respondents don't think eating while driving is as bad as texting, having children in the car or adjusting music
- The top reason why drivers eat behind the wheel? Most blame it on a long commute (24%), but 1 out of 5 respondents claim it saves time at the destination (20%)
- Most occurrences happen on trips longer than one hour (42%)
- About 28% admit to eating behind the wheel once or twice a week, but 14% of drivers never do
Insure.com commissioned Op4G to survey 1,000 adult drivers about their driving and eating habits.
Les Masterson, the managing editor for Insure.com and author of the study, is available for comment on this report and can discuss how distracted driving tickets can affect car insurance rates by state.
To view the full study and results, including the entire list of drivers’ favorite foods, breakdown by gender and more visit The best foods to eat while driving: Insure.com survey 2020.
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