We are not a medical website. We are not a health and wellness blog. We are a public safety website that talks about the types of things that can lead to injuries such as a New Haven auto accident. So, you may be wondering why we are talking about coffee today. How dangerous could a cup of joe be when you’re behind the wheel of your car? Well, it turns out more dangerous then you might imagine.
First, let’s get to National Coffee Day. Many restaurants who are known for coffee are offering specials on coffee today to honor this storied national holiday. We might be going a little too far on this, but rest assured that you may pull up to the drive-thru of your favorite coffee place today and find that your cup of coffee is on the house. That’s why National Coffee Day is good, especially if you are a coffee lover, because sometimes it means…FREE COFFEE!!
Why is there all the fuss about the dangers of coffee then? Is it really deadly? Maybe the coffee inside the cup is not the problem, but instead it is the potential distraction that it can cause you while you are behind the wheel of your car. If you want to get your free cup of coffee and then go sit in a nearby park to sip it for the morning, be our guest. If you want to grab a cup and get behind the wheel, we’d like you to reconsider your plan. Of course, there are thousands of people every day who grab a cup of their favorite coffee on their way to work, but that doesn’t mean you should do it.
Driving with a cup of coffee in your hand can cause a number of different problems and distractions for you and this could lead to an accident, an injury and even, possibly, death. Thus, the very deadly national coffee day. Here’s why.
If you’re a fan of traditional hot coffee, you may notice that when you get your hands on your first cup of the morning it can be steamy to the point where it may even burn your hand. If this is the case, drinking a hot cup of coffee while driving can present a major distraction. If you’re thinking about how hot the first sip is, you’re not paying attention to the road. If you’re concerned about the heat coming through the cup burning your hand, you’re not paying attention to the road. If you’re constantly picking up and putting down your cup so you don’t burn yourself, you’re not paying attention to the road in front of you. The heat of your coffee is an immediate distraction.
Many people not only like to get a cup of coffee, but they will often get food to go along with the coffee. We understand that because getting out of the house in the morning can be hectic and if the only time you have to eat is your ride to work, you’re going to try to make that happen. Food, however, is equally dangerous to your safety when you’re behind the wheel. Think about your instinctive reaction when something you are eating slips out of your hand and falls to the floor below, you will instinctively react to the dropped food by taking your eyes off the road. Also, alternating between eating food and your cup of coffee can force you to take your eyes off the road for quite a few seconds. Being distracted from the road for even a half a second can leave you in the wrong lane or make you drive through a stop sign, without the important part, the stop.
Finally, spills become a real problem when you’re driving. It doesn’t matter if you are drinking hot or iced coffee spills can happen. Imagine you’re driving to work in a nice outfit that you picked out especially for work that day and all of a sudden you hit a bump in the road which makes you jostle around your cup of coffee and a bit of the beverage goes flying out and hits your shirt. Now you are dealing with a stain on your shirt while you’re trying to drive safely? That just doesn’t mix. Spills can impact you in many ways from your clothing, to a concern that your car will become sticky or your seat will become stained. These are distractions that you don’t need while you’re driving.
Getting a cup of coffee on your way in to work or on your way home from work is a habit that many people have and you may not ever think about how dangerous it can be, but it can be very dangerous. You don’t expect to have problems with your cup of coffee, but the one time you do could be all it takes to get in a New Haven auto accident and get injured. We would never expect you to give up coffee all together, but maybe you can save your first cup for when you get to the office or have it before you leave home for the day. Either way, avoiding drinking a cup of coffee while you’re driving will keep you safe and help you avoid distractions.
If you do find yourself in an accident that causes you to become injured in any way, you may need to speak with someone who can understand your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will do just that.