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Reviewing the risks of eating while driving

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2020 | Personal Injury

You likely have noticed the added attention paid to the dangers posed by distracted drivers in Virginia in recent years. Yet if after having experienced a car accident (caused by seemingly inexplicable actions on the part of another driver), if you cannot attribute the cause to texting or talking on the phone while driving, you may be at a loss as to what potentially caused your collision (and thus, what degree of liability the other driver assumes). 

Yet as many of our past clients here at Mark B. Williams & Associates, PLC can attest to, cell phones are not the only devices that distract drivers. One’s morning cup of coffee or hamburger meal from a drive-thru window may be equally as distracting. 

The dangers of eating while driving

You (like many others) may view eating and drinking as such natural actions that they hardly seem distracting. Yet studies have shown that drivers who eat and drink behind the wheel are 3.6 times more likely to experience a car accident. 

Why is this? Consider that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are three major types of driving distractions: 

  • Visual 
  • Manual 
  • Cognitive 

Eating and drinking behind the wheel causes one to engage in all three. They must grasp their food (prompting them to release the steering wheel) and focus on it to avoid spills (pulling both their vision and attention away from the road). 

How to identify a “dining driver”

Yet while one may not think eating while driving distracted them, few might actually admit to doing in after causing an accident. Thus, you may need to search for more subtle clues to prove it, such as stains on a driver’ clothing or unwrapped food items in their vehicle. 

You can find more information on identifying distracted drivers throughout our site.