Eating in the Car More Dangerous than Talking on Your Phone


July 03, 2015

In January, the issue of eating in the car was thrust into the national spotlight after a man in Georgia was issued a citation for eating a hamburger while driving, according to the New York Daily News. The 36 year old visitor to the state was driving through suburban Atlanta when he was stopped police officer, who issued him a citation for distracted driving, stating that the offender could not eat a hamburger while driving.

This citation raised renewed debate as to the extent a state should be able to regulate driving distractions, and also spread awareness as to the often overlooked dangers of eating in the car. A new study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 80 percent of all car accidents and 65 percent of near-miss accidents are caused by distracted drivers who are either eating or drinking while driving. 

The Most Dangerous Foods for Drivers

Distractions such as eating or drinking while driving pose a major problem for drivers as they decrease reaction time and diminish awareness. Drivers focusing on their food or beverage can cause serious accidents. Burgers are considered a main food culprit because so many drivers grab them in fast food restaurants and then attempt to eat them while driving.

Hot coffee is the most dangerous beverage for drivers. Even with the travel lid on securely, hot coffee can find its way onto your lap, the seat, or other areas when you hit a bump, causing significant distraction. Other dangerous foods for drivers include soup, jelly doughnuts, tacos, fried chicken, hamburgers, soda, chili dogs, wings, ribs, and chocolate. All of these foods hold the potential to create messes and require attention during consumption, creating hazardous driver distraction.

Most states have banned texting while driving and others have banned the use of electronic devices in general. Few drivers are aware that eating while driving can also be illegal. Those driving long hours or rushing to get to school or work obligations will often eat in the car in an effort to save time. In fact, most Americans admit to eating in the car at least on occasion.

The most important thing to take from these statistics and figures is to never eat while driving. Plan ahead and eat before you drive, or stop your vehicle in a safe location while you eat your meal. That seemingly innocent burger can literally risk your life. In the event you are injured in a car accident that may have involved a distracted driving, contact a licensed car accident attorney to learn your legal rights as well as what actions should be taken to pursue compensation for your injuries.

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Sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-ticketed-georgia-eating-burger-driving-article-1.2083737

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/eating-driving-80-car-accidents-study-shows-article-1.427796

http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vivek_Pillai3/publication/230761212_Both_texting_and_eating_are_associated_with_impaired_simulated_driving_performance/links/02bfe50fd3bad14ef0000000.pdf (Downloads PDF file)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/9197930/Eating-while-driving-more-dangerous-than-using-phone.html

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.