According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,166 lives in 2017. Any time a driver’s full attention is diverted from the road, it seriously increases the risk of a collision. In such circumstances, it’s important to speak with a White Plains, NY car accident lawyer at Worby Vecchio Edelman, LLP.
While most people think of texting while driving when they hear the phrase “distracted driving,” there are many actions we take for granted that are sources of driver distraction. With that in mind, let’s discuss the dangers of eating while driving and why it may be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The Reasons Why People Eat and Drive
So many people are in a rush these days that multitasking is inevitable. We may listen to audiobooks while we’re on the go, or we could be making something in a slow cooker while doing work around the house. Eating while driving is relatively normal for people who commute and don’t have time to eat meals at home. Breakfast on the road or a snack on a long drive are pretty common. For people in the trucking industry, eating while on the road for a few hours is the norm.
Unfortunately, eating while driving can be the source of distraction, which could be deadly.
Types of Distracted Driving
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies three different kinds of driver distraction:
- Visual - Taking your eyes off the road
- Manual - Removing a hand or both hands from the steering wheel
- Cognitive - Diverting your mental attention from the road
Some forms of distraction combine two or all three of these types of distraction.
How Eating While Driving Causes Distraction
If you eat while driving, you’re bound to take a hand or both hands off of the wheel while handling food or a beverage. You may take your eyes off the road as you reach for food. If you spill any food, it can cause you to lose control of the vehicle and divert your attention from the road.
Essentially, eating while driving means you may not have full control of your vehicle, which makes crashes more likely.
How to Avoid Accidents If You Have to Eat While Driving
If you have to eat while behind the wheel, it’s important that you avoid dangerous behaviors and use common sense. We recommend the following tips if you have to eat something while on the road:
- Eat foods that are easy to snack on with one hand, such as chips, nuts, or grapes
- Make sure this food is within reach and easy to access without looking away from the road
- Have beverages ready in convenient cup holders
- Unscrew bottle caps before your vehicle is in motion
For drivers who are very hungry, find a place to safely pullover and park to have a full meal. If you’re on a long drive, this will give you a chance to stretch your legs and clear your head before getting back on the road.
Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
When distracted drivers cause accidents, they could be held liable for the harm they caused. This is when speaking with an attorney is imperative. Our lawyers will go over the evidence in your case and will help you determine if a lawsuit is worth pursuing. We can help negotiate a pre-trial settlement, and can bring the case all the way to trial if needed.
Learn More About Auto Accident Litigation
For information about your legal options following a serious auto collision, be sure to contact our skilled team of injury accident lawyers. You can reach the law firm of Worby Vecchio Edelman, LLP by phone at (914) 686-3700.