The Dangers of Eating Behind the Wheel

Do you eat and drink in your car? If so, did you ever consider the dangers that habit could pose?

With longer commutes and a growing trend of turning their cars into second offices, the rate of in-car eating has risen dramatically. Americans eat roughly 20% of their meals behind the wheel. The types of food being eaten behind the wheel have evolved too. The options include not only burgers and fries from fast food restaurants, but sandwiches, cereal, toast, and nearly everything in between. With the growing rate of suburbanization and longer and longer commutes, the length of time people spend in their cars–and eating in them–is growing more and more.

Driving and eating may lead to the immediate danger of distracted driving. Just because you aren’t texting, doesn’t mean your attention isn’t wandering. Inattentive driving leads to 80% of accidents and 65% of near misses on the road, whether the cause is texting, daydreaming, personal hygiene, or eating. But this isn’t the only thing to worry about.

When you dine and drive, it is difficult to keep from spilling something. A few crumbs from your toast, a blob of sauce from your burger, or an escaped French fry can all fall into the cracks and crevices of your car, escaping your notice for long periods of time. A small spill may cause stains on the upholstery. A larger item could even start to rot, adding an unpleasant smell to your car.

Spilled food can bring another danger: bacteria. A recent study in 2015 found that dangerous organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli can be found on many vehicle surfaces, including the steering wheel, seats, and foot wells. These bacteria survive and multiply on the remains of your in-car meals. These organisms are responsible for diseases such as skin infections, pneumonia, anemia, kidney failure, urinary tract infections, blood infections, food poisoning, and any number of other serious health issues. With the growing number of people eating in their cars, the dangers of these diseases become more and more prevalent.

So what can you do to protect yourself from becoming sick? Cleaning the interior of your car is an excellent way to eliminate these dangerous bacteria. However, many people skip this important part of car maintenance, often claiming that it will only become dirty again. If this excuse doesn’t hold water for not doing laundry or making the bed, it certainly shouldn’t stand in the car. According to a poll conducted by Carfused.com, only 25% of people say they clean the interior of their car at least once every 3 months.

Professional car wash services can help make your car a healthier, safer environment for you and your family. The detailers on the Mobile Wash team include a thorough cleaning of every surface of your car both inside and out. We use high-quality equipment to ensure your car gets the best car, and pay attention to every detail. You can rest assured that there will be no lurking colonies of dangerous microbes when we get finished.

All across the country, there is growing traffic congestion. The average Angeleno spends about 90 hours each year stuck in traffic, and the number is only going up. Make sure that you aren’t surrounded by germs for that whole time by keeping your car nice and clean, and maybe cutting back on some of the behind-the-wheel snacking.