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How dangerous is eating while driving?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Every time you get behind the wheel of your car in Burgaw, you likely take great care to avoid any of the commonly known dangerous driving practices that could increase your chances of causing an accident. You no doubt have this same expectation of others. 

Your expectation may stop short, however, of people eating while driving (you yourself may even grab a quick bite while behind the wheel). Yet a closer examination of the distractions caused by eating while driving may not only stop you from doing it ever it again, but also reveal the potential cause of your car accident. 

How is eating while driving distracting?

According to information shared through a joint research effort between the Auto Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reveals three common forms of driving distractions: 

  • Manual 
  • Visual 
  • Cognitive 

When a driver eats while driving, they must release the steering wheel with at least one hand to grasp their food (a manual distraction). They must also see what they are eating (a visual distraction). Finally, they need to dedicate their attention to their food or drink in order to avoid spills (a cognitive distraction). 

Did a “dining driver” cause your accident?

How are you to know if the driver that caused your accident was eating behind the wheel? As they may be unlikely to admit that on their own, you should look for signs that indicate this, such as fresh stains on their clothing or hands. Open food or drink containers may also indicate such activity. Each of these factors may be important in assigning the appropriate degree of liability to the driver, which could go a long way in getting you compensation for your accident expenses.