Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Inertia-Balanced Automotive Tray Table

Facilitating the mastication of comestibles
 
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I would like a way to eat healthier foods in the car. Salads are becoming more readily available at fast food restaurants but unfortunately they aren't very portable. The biggest problem is that you have to hold the plastic tray in one hand and the fork in the other leaving only your knees to steer with. I came up with an idea for a solution:

Have a simple tray table mounted off the center of the steeringwheel. The support pole would be stationary and run through the middle of the steering wheel's pivot (the steering wheel would rotate around the protruding support arm). The tray would be counter balanced so it would tip corresponding to the amount of inertial force (centrifugal force) and remain relatively level thus preventing spillage. One could eat a soup while traveling down a winding road with one hand on the wheel and the other on the spoon.

This could be a tilting tray too so that it could be made vertical to be used as a clipboard. Map reading while driving would now allow for both hands to be on the wheel.

This device would likely add to the number of available distractions for a driver making driving more dangerous, but can make current types of automotive multi-tasking safer and easier; a trade-off of sorts.


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       For some reason this wasn't showing up on the overview screen so I am adding this anno instead of reposting.   

       Success!   

       I eat too fast for this to be of use to me ... indoor all-you-care-to salad grazing is my only option.
reensure, Jul 23 2005
  

       good idea but what happens in a crash? the driver is impaled on the pole as surely the plastic would cruch/bend under crash forces unless made of more durable plastic therefore bumping up cost and making it unmarketable except to truckers? thanks Nick
randylandy666, Jul 27 2007
  

       I just strap on the old feedbag, and head 'er.
Giblet, Jul 27 2007
  

       This would help with drinking and driving, although I've always felt that spilling was one of those safety measures that acted as a limiting device.
normzone, Jul 27 2007
  
      
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