Choking! Handling throat clog while driving

What are the worst things that can happen to a driver while he or she is behind the wheel?

Click here to see all 10 of the Worst Case Trucking Scenario panels.

Overdrive began delving into that question last week with its 10 Worst Case Trucking Scenarios inforgraphic, which covers topics ranging from having a heart attack behind the wheel to having your rig hijacked.

This week, we pick up with this: Choking.

What’s a driver to do if suddenly something he or she is eating gets hung up in the throat and prevents breathing? Here are some tips:


Click the comic to see the full-sized version, or click here to see the full Worst Case Scenarios infographic.

Previous Worst Case posts:

Heart attack!





See the full list here.

  • Tim Orr

    How about, “Don’t eat while the vehicle is in motion”? Lots of accidents have been documented as being caused by that act alone, when a driver drops something, or spills a condiment on themselves, and tries to “save” the situation by going after what fell. Besides, you only have two hands, and if one is holding food, only one can be driving. That’s suboptimal.

  • M Fawls

    I have had this happen a couple of times, including this afternoon. The tip to ‘stand behind the driver’s seat’ just doesn’t make any sense to me unless they are talking about a non-driver choking. In the cases where I have been choking, not just coughing with something stuck but really choking, unable to get air, the biggest issue is not giving in to panic. Once it sets in that I am seriously choking I force myself to relax and to take my foot off the gas…if I’m going down, no point taking anyone else with me by pushing on the gas. Once relaxed, which is difficult when you are getting no air in or able to push anything out, I have found that I can get enough air from my lungs and pressure from my diaphragm to force the food out and get a breath.

    “Don’t eat while the vehicle is in motion” is a good idea but in each case personally I have not been eating as such, but snacking. It has been a single dry item such as a pretzel, and a dry mouth which resulted in the choke. As a rule I don’t eat any type of meal behind the wheel but I do keep small snack items handy. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.