Distractions while driving most definitely include eating while driving. You might think to yourself, “It’s just a cup of coffee, what could possibly go wrong?” Plenty! And these days the drive-in breakfast has become a staple for many Aussie workers, whether we’re driving a ute to a construction site or a Lexus to the office.
But what really makes for a good start to your day? Certainly it’s not having a crash thanks to your morning snack, and having to make a claim on your car insurance – or wishing you had car insurance…
Here are our top 5 foods you should avoid eating while driving if you know what’s good for you, your car, and your car insurance policy.
1. Hot Coffee and Hot Soup
You spill and burn yourself – so you accidentally jerk on the steering wheel, causing an instant crash. It’s a trap!
2. French Fries or Fried Chicken
The grease in these fried foods makes for slippery hands on the steering wheel. Still think you could steer safely? Greasy food can also kill the leather upholstery on your seats if you have a more high-end vehicle. And since you or your passengers caused the damage, you may not be able to claim the cost of new leather lining from your insurance provider.
3. Burgers and Tacos
I don’t know if you remember when a burger was called a “Sloppy Joe”, but the name was a good fit! Burgers don’t stick together at the best of times, and you should never be dividing your attention between the road and mayo and tomato that are slowly slipping into your lap.
4. Sultanas, Skittles, and Sunflower Seeds
Basically, this should include anything that comes in little pieces that roll all through your car and evade detection for days. This won’t cause a crash unless you try to pick them up while driving – so don’t do it. Even without a crash, little bits of food on the floor does make your car feel a bit gross since you end up squishing them into your toes every time you engage the clutch. Believe me, I know… Skittles get bonus points because when they melt in the hot Australian sun, their yummy insides get stuck in your car’s floor carpet, and then you need professional cleaning to get it out.
Ooh, and popcorn! But that doesn’t start with ‘s’.
5. Jam Donuts
Jam all over your shirt while you’re driving is not a good look. Plus, it makes your shirt sticky all day while you’re at work. It’s worse still if the jam donut is hot. Jam always heats up much more than the encasing donut mixture and that pretty much guarantees you’ll burn your lips or mouth when you take a bite. Stay away if you know what’s good for you.
Why staying safe on the road can get you cheap car insurance
It’s called the No Claim Bonus or Safe Driver Discount. You can get a discount on your car insurance premium for making no claims for crashes, whether they’re ‘no fault’ (not your fault) or ‘at-fault’ (your fault). So being a safe driver literally can pay off.
On the other side of the coin, if you have several at-fault crashes recorded against your name, you represent a higher risk for insurance providers. This can mean you pay a much more expensive premium, or some insurance companies may flat-out refuse to insure you. One sneaky move you can miss is that some insurance providers might let you keep your no claim bonus after an at-fault crash, but they might still increase your premium to reflect your risk level.
These days, no claims bonuses are becoming less common with insurance companies – but the replacement, the Loyalty Discount, has a similar same effect. The longer you stay with one insurer, the cheaper your insurance should be.
Stay on the right side of the road, eat safe foods in the car or eat when you arrive, and give yourself the gift of cheaper car insurance. Visit the Roads and Maritime Services NSW website for more tips on staying safe while driving.