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Why Consuming Food While Driving Can Result in an Accident

January 17, 2023 | On Behalf Of Randolph And Associates | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Eating while driving can be a tempting way to multitask and save time, but it can also be a major cause of accidents on the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that eating and drinking can increase one’s chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident by as much as 80%. It's thus important for drivers to understand the risks of eating while driving and take steps to avoid it in order to keep themselves and others safe on the road.

Eating While Driving: More Dangerous Than Many Realize

One of the main ways that eating while driving can cause an accident is by distracting the driver. When we eat, our attention is naturally focused on the food, rather than the road. This can lead to a phenomenon known as "inattention blindness," in which the driver fails to see important visual cues, such as stop signs or pedestrians, because their attention is focused elsewhere. Inattention blindness can be especially dangerous when it occurs at high speeds or in busy areas, as it can lead to serious accidents.

In addition to distracting the driver, eating while driving can also cause an accident by obstructing the driver's view. When we eat, we tend to bring our food up close to our face, which can block our view of the road. This can be particularly dangerous when the driver is trying to merge onto the highway or make a turn, as they may not be able to see other vehicles or pedestrians in their path.

Eating while driving can also cause an accident by causing the driver to lose control of their vehicle. This can happen if the driver tries to eat while steering with one hand, or if they become so focused on their food that they lose control of the vehicle. For example, if a driver is trying to unwrap a messy sandwich while driving, they may take their eyes off the road or let go of the steering wheel to do so, increasing the risk of an accident occurring.

Finally, eating while driving can also lead to accidents by causing the driver to spill or drop their food. If a driver spills a hot drink or drops a piece of food onto their lap while driving, they may be distracted or startled, leading to an accident. Even if the driver is able to quickly clean up the spill or retrieve the dropped food, the distraction may have already caused an accident to occur.

Overall, eating while driving can cause an accident by distracting the driver, obstructing their view, causing them to lose control of their vehicle, or causing them to spill or drop their food. It's important for drivers to be aware of these risks and avoid eating while driving in order to keep themselves and others safe on the road. Instead, drivers should make sure to pull over to a safe location if they need to eat or drink while on the road.

Contact a Santa Monica Car Accident Lawyer

Even if you avoid unsafe habits like eating while driving, you can’t prevent others from being careless. If you’ve been involved in an accident resulting from the negligence of another driver, our team at Randolph & Associates can help you pursue the compensation you may deserve. Learn more by contacting us online today.


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