Like nearly everyone else here in New Orleans and across the country, you have probably either eaten or had something to drink (non-alcoholic, of course) while driving. Whether you brought something from home or picked something up along the way, the combination of your tight schedule, and your hunger or thirst, meant you needed to eat or drink something behind the wheel.
The problem is that eating or drinking is a form of distracted driving. The problem is that so many people do it that it has become normal, and many often overlook the danger. When people eat and drive, they pose a risk to themselves and everyone else on the road.
What makes eating and driving so dangerous?
There are several reasons why you should avoid eating and driving. The most often cited are in the list below:
- When it comes to drinking out of a large cup, the danger comes from the fact that it obstructs your vision. It may only take you a few seconds to take a drink, but if you can’t see what’s going on, you may miss a change in the traffic pattern that could lead to an accident.
- When you eat something, you will need at least one hand and often two in order to do so. Without your hands on the wheel, you have no control over your vehicle.
- The remnants of your meal cause clutter that could distract you from driving, and that doesn’t even include crumbs and spills.
- Even the smell of food and the sounds of passengers eating can cause a distraction as you drive. Some passengers may tempt you by offering you bites of food as you drive, which can distract you as well.
Eating often requires you to take your hands off the wheel, concentrate on eating instead of driving and take your eyes off the road. The best course of action would be to wait to eat until you reach your destination, or pull over in order to eat or drink before you continue on your journey. Not only would doing so keep you safer as you drive, but one could argue that it’s better for your health and digestion as well.
You may not eat behind the wheel, but others may
Even if you are a responsible driver who doesn’t eat or drink and drive, you share the road with many others who do. If you end up suffering the consequences of another person’s choice to eat and drive, it may be possible to pursue compensation for your crash-related damages.