Distracted driving is not just texting and talking on the phone. It’s anything that makes you look away from the road or concentrate on anything else but your driving.
This includes eating. It’s very common to see people pull out of the drive-thru already eating a hamburger or taking a drink from that cup of coffee on the way to work. It’s also very risky.
The National Safety Council’s senior program manager studies distracted driving. She is on record as saying that eating and driving incidents are “devastatingly overlooked.” Most of the attention goes to texting and driving, talking on cellphones and pets in the car.
However, she points out that accidents with food in the car often make people panic. Then they quickly make poor decisions.
For example, she talked to one man who was going 70 miles per hour while drinking iced tea. It was in a styrofoam cup. The bottom of the cup started to crack and he realized if was going to break.
Perhaps not wanting to spill tea all over himself and his truck, the man panicked. He pulled both of his hands away from the wheel to grab the cup. He looked at his drink, taking his eyes away from the road.
The end result? He didn’t see the impending accident as he flew along at 70 miles per hour, not touching the steering wheel, and he slammed into the other vehicles ahead of him. He may not have spilled that tea, at least until the crash, but he totaled his pick-up.
This is just one example, but it helps show how quickly people make poor choices that have serious consequences. If you’re ever hit by someone who is distracted, you should determine whether you have a right to financial compensation.
Source: Thrillist, “Why Eating While Driving Should Be Illegal,” Wil Fulton, accessed Dec. 5, 2017