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Florida Injury Lawyers > Blog > Car Accident > Is Eating While Driving Considered Distracted Driving?

Is Eating While Driving Considered Distracted Driving?

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Distracted driving is quite dangerous. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,142 people in 2019. So, what exactly is distracted driving? According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from driving. There are many types of distracted driving behaviors, but when people hear of the term “distracted driving,” they almost always think of texting or talking on the phone while driving. However, any behavior that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving is considered distracted driving.

Is Eating While Driving Considered Distracted Driving?

According to the NHTSA, eating and even drinking while driving is a type of distracted driving behavior. As a driver, you have most likely engaged in drinking or eating while driving at least once, without knowing that you were engaging in a type of distracted driving behavior that can result in a crash. When you take at least one of your hands off the steering wheel so you can eat or drink, you lower your chances of being able to react on time and avoid a sudden hazard. This is because, not focusing on the road, even for a brief moment to look at your food, can be enough to cause a crash.   Balancing food on your lap, looking for discarded food in your seat, spilling liquid in your lap, burning your tongue on hot food, etc., can all lead to a crash as you are distracted from the road.

Eating While Driving Is Almost as Dangerous as Texting

According to data from Lytx, eating while driving is almost as dangerous as texting. Unfortunately, not many people know this. Drivers engage in such behavior, not knowing that it is just as risky as updating their social media or texting their friends on their phones while driving.

According to Lytx’s data, drivers who eat or drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a crash than those drivers who don’t eat or drink while driving. On the other hand, drivers using a tablet or smartphone are 4.7 times more likely to cause an accident than drivers who didn’t use their smartphone or tablet. From such statistics, you can see that eating while driving is almost as dangerous as texting.

Is It a Crime to Eat While Driving?

It is not a crime to eat while driving in Florida or anywhere in the U.S. However, you can be slapped with hefty penalties if such behavior affects your driving. If eating while you are on the wheel interferes with your ability to control your vehicle, depending on the circumstances, you may be liable for an offense. A police officer might not stop you just because you are eating while driving, but they can stop you if eating while driving causes you to drive erratically. If that happens, you may end up paying hefty fines and/or facing other consequences.

Contact a Plantation Personal Injury Lawyer

A driver who causes an accident due to eating while driving can be held liable and made to compensate the victim. If you are injured in a car accident by a driver who was eating while driving, don’t hesitate to contact the Plantation car accident lawyers at Lyons & Snyder.

Resource:

nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

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