What to Do If You Spill Hot Coffee on Yourself While Driving
You’re late to work and you rush through the drive-through to grab your morning java. As you focusing on making it through the intersection up ahead before the traffic light changes, you reach for your coffee to see if it’s still to hot to sip and—SPLASH! The lid pops off and the entire cup pours over you.
What do you do? You want to keep yourself from getting burnt and to minimize the staining on your clothes, but you still need to focus on safely operating your vehicle.
This is how you safely react if you spill hot coffee on yourself while driving.
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How to Safely React to a Coffee Spill
Step 1: Maintain Control
It’s difficult to do when the scalding liquid is seeping into your clothes, but taking your attention off the road even for a moment could be disastrous. Grit your teeth and power through.
Step 2: Cool Off
If there is a cold beverage like a bottle of water within reach, pour some of it on you where the coffee spilled. This will lower the temperature of the coffee and dilute before it sets, hopefully easing the urgency of the situation if you can’t park right away.
Step 3: Pull Over
Pull over somewhere safe before you turn your attention to the spill. If you’re on residential or urban streets, look for a parking lot (a place with a restroom would be beneficial). If you’re on the highway, use your hazard lights and pull over to the shoulder. If you keep trying to drive after the spill, your attention will only be partially focused on the road and your surroundings.
Step 4: Minimize the Damage
If you have an outer layer of clothing, remove it so the coffee doesn’t soak deeper into the inner garments. Rinse the outer garments if you have access to water.
Step 5: Soak Up the Spill
Grab paper napkins from the glove compartment, center console, or map pocket. Dab and mop up the spill; don’t wipe it or smear it. Keeping a roll of paper towels nearby is handy for many reasons, including this. Similarly dab up any spillage on the car seats.
Step 6: Treat the Burn
Depending on how severe the burn on your skin is (if there is one), run it under cold water, apply aloe vera, and seek medical attention if necessary.
Step 7: Remove the coffee from the upholstery
When you get home, apply detergent to a sponge and gingerly dab/rub the spill. Rinse it with water and vinegar.
Spilling a cup of coffee can ruin your morning, but staying focused and fixing the situation properly can help improve even the messiest disaster.
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