How Common are Car Accidents Due to Eating While Driving?
Anything that brings your eyes away from the road falls under the category of distracted driving. This includes obvious forms of distracted driving, such as texting, choosing the next song, or watching videos on your phone. One of the most underappreciated forms of distracted driving is eating behind the wheel. Whether you are reaching for a cup of coffee or trying to wrestle the last fry out of a paper bag, eating can cause you to lose control – often with serious consequences. How common are these situations, and what can you do if you were injured by a distracted driver?
Eating While Driving Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating and driving can increase the chances of a crash by up to 80%. This includes distractions involving both food and drink. It is worth mentioning that a BAC of 0.05 increases the likelihood of a crash by up to 100%. In other words, eating while driving is almost as dangerous as having a few drinks before getting behind the wheel.
We know how dangerous driving and eating can be – but how common is it? According to a recent poll, the majority of drivers admit that they eat while driving “on a regular basis.” In addition, the NHTSA states that as many as 65% of all “near misses” are caused by those distracted with food or drinks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also highlights several types of food and drink that may be especially dangerous for drivers across the nation. These include:
- Starbucks: With the rise of Starbucks drive-thru windows, a hot paper cup of coffee has suddenly become a ubiquitous addition to cupholders throughout the nation. However, drinking a cup of coffee while driving is not always easy. First of all, it takes at least one hand away from the wheel. Secondly, drivers run the risk of veering off the road if they accidentally spill hot liquids on themselves. We all know how finicky those plastic lids can be, and they can be a nightmare to handle when you are driving. Finally, a Starbucks coffee can be difficult to slot into your cupholder with any degree of accuracy. Inevitably, you are forced to take your eyes off the road as you place your coffee carefully into the cupholder. These crucial seconds of distraction can easily lead to a serious accident.
- Chocolate: According to various safety reports, messy or staining food items are particularly dangerous for drivers. A stain on your perfect suit or new dress can cause you to desperately focus on the stain rather than your responsibilities as a driver. Chocolate is perhaps one of the messiest foods imaginable – and the stains can be particularly distressing for drivers.
- Fried Chicken: Safety advocates have also identified fried chicken as particularly hazardous for drivers. In truth, all greasy foods can cause serious levels of distraction. Not only that, but grease affects your grip on the steering wheel – potentially leading to more errors. Finally, grease can also cause more stains.
- Hamburgers: A hamburger can be difficult to approach, even while sitting in a restaurant. The best hamburgers come packed with ingredients – but this also represents a serious hazard when the burger inevitably starts leaking sauces and salad all over your clothes. In addition, most foodies agree that two hands are necessary to properly eat a burger – making driving a near-impossibility.
- Soup: Although it might be technically possible to eat a burger with one hand, two hands are absolutely required for soup. With one hand holding the bowl and the other holding the spoon, there is no way of controlling the steering wheel. If you try to drink your soup with one hand like a beverage, you might suddenly burn your mouth and veer off the road in the throes of agony. These factors make soup one of the most dangerous foods you can possibly eat behind the wheel.
Find a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you suspect that your crash was caused by some form of negligence, it makes sense to discuss your situation in more detail alongside a qualified Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. Choose the Personal Injury Legal Group and get started with an effective action plan today. Drivers should be held accountable for all forms of negligence – including distraction, intoxication, speeding, and much more. We can help you establish negligence with clear, convincing evidence – whether the crash involved a bowl of soup, a hamburger, or a good old-fashioned cup of coffee. Book your consultation today to determine the most appropriate method of pursuing compensation.