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Is eating and drinking while driving dangerous?

| Sep 8, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Thanks to a great deal of effort by many both in New York and throughout the U.S. in recent, you know that distracted driving is a real problem facing you and other motorists. Yet if asked to define distracted driving, you might limit it to using a cell phone while driving.

Yet in reality, there are a number of different forms of distracted driving. One that is alarmingly prevalent (even likely more so than texting or talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel) is eating while driving.

Reviewing the common types of driving distractions

This may come as quite a surprise to you given that eating and drinking are actions that seem so natural that most people might hardly view them as distracting. Yet distracting actions are less about their basic nature than the consequences that result from them.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three major types of distractions:

  • Manual: Actions that require the use of one’s hands
  • Visual: Actions that require one’s vision
  • Cognitive: Actions that require one’s attention

Upon reviewing the actions that go into eating and drinking (specifically eating and drinking while behind the wheel), you notice that both prompt all three distractions. One eating while driving must view and pay attention to their foods and drinks, and they must release the steering wheel (with at least one hand) to grasp them.

The extent of the distractions caused by eating and drinking while driving

One might argue that even if eating and driving behind the wheel causes distractions, those distractions are only momentary. Yet given that one engaged in them may travel a long distance in their vehicle in only a few seconds, even a momentary distraction can make it next to impossible to respond quickly enough to avoid hitting you if and when their meal pulls their attention away from the road.

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