December 1-7 is National Safe Driving Week

Distracted driving is an important topic, both in the safety sphere and in the context of public discussion. Focus is often placed on the dangers of handheld devices, and for good reason. But while this is one example of a potentially fatal action that can be taken behind the wheel, it’s not the only one.

“Distraction is distraction, no matter how you slice it,” said Gareth Jones, President and CEO of the Canada Safety Council. “We all have a responsibility — to ourselves, to our loved ones and to our fellow road users — to remain vigilant at all times and stay focused on the task at hand.”

The task of driving always requires your full attention. Any activity that removes your focus off the road can be qualified as distraction. This can include using your phone, reprogramming your radio or Global Positioning System (GPS), grooming, entering a conversation with passengers and, yes, even eating and drinking behind the wheel.

A momentary loss of focus on the road can cost you a second or two in which to react to a sudden change in expected traffic or behaviour. And that small moment of time can make all the difference in the world.

Most Dangerous Foods Behind the Wheel (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):

  • Coffee
  • Soup
  • Tacos
  • Chili
  • Hamburgers
  • Barbecued food
  • Fried Chicken
  • Jelly Doughnuts
  • Soft drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Cup of coffee in vehicle’s cup holder