I always eat while highway driving and this has saved my life, over and over. I also listen to books on tape or CD or MP3 while driving. I find this to be ESSENTIAL for safe long distance driving. With eating and books, done carefully, with preparation, I can stay AWAKE.
I have driven cross country, many tens of thousands of miles, with no accidents, because I use food and stories to keep me awake, alert, attentive, and focused. Without them, I would have died or killed someone many years ago.
I eat small, non-messy food, with one hand, such as pop corn or nuts or chips, one piece at a time. I listen to stories, novels, on my car stereo, not too loud, and mostly on the highway. I turn it off when I need to enter, exit, or deal with traffic, or a decision. I do not need to look down to eat, or to operate my built in CD and Tape players.
When I need to find food, or change a CD, I pull over. Always.
If you feel that eating while driving is always bad, you are simply mistaken.