Drivers are easily distracted. From talking to passengers, to making phone calls to manipulating a GPS unit, drivers often believe they have the skill necessary to both operate a vehicle safely and perform various tasks while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

With distracted driving leading to a significant number of serious – or even fatal – accidents each year, drivers must remain wary of any activity that might lead to a manual, cognitive or visual distraction from the road. While texting and talking on a cell phone remain at the top of the list of dangerous activities, eating and drinking is quickly becoming a recognized hazard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ranked the 10 most dangerous types of food to eat while driving. The foods that top the list include:

  • Chocolate
  • Soft drinks
  • Doughnuts (jelly and cream-filled or powdered)
  • Fried chicken
  • Barbecued food
  • Hamburgers
  • Chili
  • Tacos
  • Soup
  • Coffee

Many of the items on this list contain an element of “messy.” Chocolate can melt on a driver’s fingers, causing him or her to attempt to clean it off while operating the vehicle. Drinks can spill, jelly can squirt out of a bitten doughnut and land on a driver’s clothing. Drivers can be both distracted by the act of eating and drinking and then distracted again when the food causes a mess.

Distracted driving can lead to serious collisions resulting in catastrophic injuries. From traumatic brain damage to paralysis, occupants of any vehicle involved can suffer life-changing damage. If you were injured or you lost a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, it is crucial that you discuss your situation with a trusted motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible.