Eating behind the wheel; an underappreciated distraction

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2020 | Car Accidents |

You take to East Aurora’s streets in your vehicle understanding that you face risks from other drivers. Yet you do this assuming that the others on the road around you exercise the same amount of caution you do in avoiding accidents. That caution would almost certainly include avoiding distracted driving. Yet every day countless people engage in a distracting activity without realizing the dangers it poses. The activity referred to here is eating while driving.

Many come to us here at Hall Ricketts Gurbacki, P.C. surprised that eating behind the wheel can be so distracting. Yet after an accident caused by a “dining driver,” a closer examination of their actions might reveal to you just how risky it can be.

Three major types of driving distractions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that there are three different types of driving distractions:

  • Visual
  • Cognitive
  • Manual

Visual and cognitive distractions are those actions which pull one’s vision and attention away from the road; manual distractions require one to release the steering wheel with at least one hand. Eating behind the wheel requires that one engage in all three simultaneously. While many may argue that these actions are natural enough that they seem to be second nature, a momentary distraction is sufficient to cause one to travel over a good distance at a high speed (which cumulatively can spell disaster).

The dangers of eating while driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that as many as 80% of all car accidents may be due to eating while driving. If you notice fresh food stains on the hands or clothing of the driver that hit you, that may be a good indication that such a distraction played a factor in your crash.

You can learn more about recognizing distracted driving by continuing to explore our site.