We've all snacked a bit while we're driving, but is it technically something you're allowed to do?

I eat in my car all the time. If I'm starving and I just can't wait to get back to my apartment with the fries, or if I'm on the run for the morning and I have to eat the breakfast sandwich now or never. Maneuvering weirdly shaped food containers or a scalding fry cup or sandwich and trying to drive can be a tricky thing for sure.


Eating while we're driving is not something any of us will ever quit doing (sorry to my nutrition coach, but it won't happen). But if you want to get technical with it, are we legally cleared to munch on some snacks while we're driving?

Illinois Law

The Illinois Department of Transportation categorizes eating while driving as a form of distracted driving. It puts it in the same list as doing stuff like adjusting the radio, texting, putting on makeup, and even daydreaming. Illinois DOT says that if you eat while you drive (or do any of those other activities), you're up to 23 times more likely to cause a crash.

Illinois doesn't have a specific law saying you can't munch on a cheeseburger or slam that large fry while you're driving. But obviously, in reality, it's a matter of not letting the fact that you just 3rd degree burned your finger and tongue on that fry distract you from driving. You know how to position the food bags and carriers to be easy to access for you while you drive so it won't be an issue for you. Of course, if it's something that's just impossible to eat while you're driving, wait until you get to your destination.

Police can't pull you over just for eating while you're driving but if you swerve all over the road trying to eat, they can. Snack and drive safely, QC.

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