Skipping coffee during morning commute may reduce the risk of Chicago car accidents

A fun report took serious aim at a deadly habit of distracted driving recently, when MSN reported the 10 worst foods to eat while driving. Coffee during morning commutes topped the list of food or beverages most likely to contribute to a car accident.

The Chicago car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes have closely followed the distracted driving issue both here and on our sister site, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog, which recently reported on a new government agency FocusDriven, which has been formed to combat distracted driving accidents nationwide.

An estimated 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction within three seconds before the crash, according to a landmark study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

“Most car accidents are caused by drivers not paying attention,” says Eric Bolton, an NHTSA spokesman.

Distracted driving means anything that takes your eyes, hands or mind away off the road. Eating while driving is one of the most common and distracting habits on the nation’s roads, according to government statistics.

In addition to eating and drinking behind the wheel, other common distractions include cell phones and text messaging; adjusting the stereo; children, pets and objects moving around inside the vehicle; smoking; dressing, putting on makeup shaving and reading.

Distracted drivers are most likely to be involved in rear-end collisions in which the vehicle in front of them is stopped. A report based on insurance-claims history found drivers had the most problems eating during morning commutes — many of those motorists were involved in a traffic accident as they tried to clean up spills while driving.

The top 10 food offenders in a car are:

1. Coffee
2. Hot soup: Many people drink it like coffee and run the same risks
3. Tacos
4. Chili
5. Hamburgers
6. Barbecued food
7. Fried chicken
8. Jelly- or cream-filled doughnuts
9. Soft drinks
10. Chocolate

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Chicago car accident attorneys and the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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