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What's the harm in grabbing a quick snack while driving?

If you commute, you're probably in your car a lot more than you'd like to be -- and, frankly, sometimes people just get hungry or thirsty when they're on the road.

Is there really any harm in running through Starbucks to grab a quick cup of coffee on your way to work or snagging a Big Mac on your way home?

Unfortunately, yes. Eating and drinking behind the wheel is a form of distracted driving that most Americans don't think twice about doing. We spend so much time in our cars that it's easy to forget that you shouldn't be doing anything -- let alone eating and drinking -- when you're behind the wheel except driving.

However, some food and drink items are more dangerous than others when you're behind the wheel. Here are some of the top offenders:

  • Coffee is the worst thing to drink while driving because it's hot and it spills easily. Your reaction to being burned can lead to a wreck.
  • Tacos are delicious, but you should probably pull over into the parking lot to eat them if you can't wait until you get home. They're too messy to eat easily, and that's a huge distraction.
  • Burgers are a favorite "go-to" fast-food items, but they're also greasy and apt to fall apart. All it takes is a quick glance down to see what kind of mess is on your shirt to cause an accident.
  • Donuts, especially those with any kind of filling, are hazardous for the same reason that burgers and tacos made the list.
  • Soft drinks won't burn you, but the carbonation can make you choke or cough -- and that could cause you to make an error on the road.
  • Chocolate seems harmless -- but it's greasy and melts. If you get it on your steering wheel, you could cause a wreck trying to clean it off.

It's just smarter to pull over if you're hungry or thirsty. It's the safest way to avoid a crash. You may still end up in a car accident, however, because most people aren't going to change their behavior that easily. If you've been injured by a distracted driver, find out more about your legal options.

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