Eating while driving is more dangerous than you think

| Apr 15, 2020 | Firm News

Like most Delaware drivers, you’ve probably gone through a drive-thru and picked up a meal while you were on your way somewhere else. Thanks to our busy, on-the-go culture, eating while driving is one of the most common ways to multitask. This seems safe enough, but in reality, it’s a form of distracted driving, and it’s dangerous.

It’s easy to overlook the potential dangers of driving while eating or drinking something. After all, you’re not looking at your phone or texting. However, anything that takes your focus off the road and your hands off the steering wheel increases the chance of an accident. If you are the victim of a distracted driving accident, it’s possible the person in the other vehicle was consuming food or drinking something while driving. 

Dangerous foods and drinks

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating while driving is one of the most common and dangerous types of distracted driving. It’s distracting because it takes at least one of the driver’s hands off the wheel, his or her eyes off the road and focus off the task at hand. This is the definition of distracted driving. Some things are especially difficult and dangerous to eat while driving, including those below:

  • Barbequed food
  • Chili
  • Tacos
  • Soups

Coffee is one of the most common things people drink in their vehicles, and it can also be one of the most dangerous foods or beverages to consume. Anyone who is operating a vehicle has the obligation to act responsibly and not needlessly endanger others on the road, and that may include putting down the food or drinks until arriving at the destination.

A risky habit

There is always risk involved when a driver does anything in addition to just operating a vehicle. Yet around 70% of people admit to driving while also eating and 83% admit to drinking a beverage while behind the wheel. Estimates also suggest well over half of all near-miss incidents on the road are because a driver was eating food or consuming a beverage behind the wheel.

Victims of distracted driving accidents

If you are the victim of an accident caused by a distracted driver, you could have grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim. Distracted driving in any form is irresponsible and negligent, and Delaware’s civil justice system allows you to take steps to hold these individuals accountable and pursue justice through a lawsuit.