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Driving while eating: How dangerous is it?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The fast-food industry is purpose-built for people on the go. While many people stop and eat in the sit-down portion of fast-food establishments, a significant number never get out of their car – electing to simply drive thru to order, pay and collect their food.

The problem, then, becomes what to do with the food? Will you take it home to eat? Or will you simply eat on the way home … on the way to work … on the way to class? Perhaps not too shockingly, the answer more often than not is to eat in the car while driving.

Data published by ExxonMobil reported that 83 percent of drivers drink while operating a motor vehicle. Of those surveyed, 70 percent admitted to eating while behind the wheel. While these numbers might be alarming, they can be frightening when taken with:

  • The Lytx study that reported drivers who were eating or drinking were 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) estimate that driving while eating or drinking increases the likelihood of crashes or near-misses by nearly 39 percent.

Far too often, drivers convince themselves that eating or drinking while behind the wheel is an acceptable, minor distraction. Everyone does it, and everyone’s good at it. Unfortunately, even the simple act of reaching into the center console to grab a travel-mug of coffee represents both a cognitive and manual distraction.

Distracted drivers can cause serious, fatal accidents. From high-speed collisions to head-on crashes, motor vehicle accidents can result in profound automobile damage and catastrophic injuries. Do not hesitate to discuss your accident with a personal injury lawyer to gain a clear understanding of your legal options.

Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

Dana Watts is a board certified civil trial lawyer by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization with more than 30 years of litigation experience. He also received an AV* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell.

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Dana J. Watts Attorney at Law

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Sarasota, FL 34236

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