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When we grew up the national roads had numerous picnic spots with white concrete tables, chairs and dirt bins. We would always stop over for breakfast and lunch when travelling on holiday. Service stations were places where one got fuel and took a comfort break. Fast forward to an era of modern mega service stations with shops, numerous restaurants, kids activities etc. coupled with crime on the highways and we no longer see anyone on the side of the road. We do however see people driving and eating and yes, due to the vastness of our country many routes do not offer the fast food options that we enjoy on the main arterials, so one has no option other than to take “padkos” and eat with the family whilst driving. Statistics show that this can double the risk of having an accident ( nowhere near the figure for texting though).
The stats do show that eating and drinking while driving are likely to increase the risk of an accident as like texting one can become distracted and take one’s eyes off the road as the action distracts you especially if you have to open an item of food or a drink, should the drink be fizzy or hot and spill your immediate reaction would be to look down, once again taking your eyes off the road. In addition to eating and drink means that one of your hands it not on the steering wheel and you do not have absolute control of your vehicle.
Should you reach for a cloth or tissue to wipe the spill away will distract you even more and this will be compounded should you hand be sticky. A hot liquid may even cause you to flinch with disastrous consequences.
Then there is the litterbug, a South African favourite, he will throw his packing and paper bag out the window at high speed which may even cause the vehicle following him to swerve. Keep your litter inside the car, you can always dispose of it at a later stage when you refuel, bearing in mind that you should take a break when driving long distances every two hours. Simply put, find a safe spot to pull over and eat, if you can not perhaps swop drivers and if buying takeaways rather eat them at the source. You will all be a lot safer.

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