Eating and Driving Is Distracted Driving | Florida Car Accident Attorneys Whittel & Melton


Distracted driving takes many forms, but the most common distracted driving practices are using a cell phone, playing with the radio, and eating.

Eating while operating a vehicle is always dangerous, certain meals are more likely to cause distractions than others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranks chocolate, hot coffee, jelly and powdered donuts, tacos, fried chicken, hamburgers, and chocolate among the top ten most dangerous foods to consume while driving. According to research from The Zebra, four of these top 10 most dangerous food items are some of the most popular foods to eat when behind the wheel.

Here are the most popular foods to eat while driving:

  • French fries
  • Candy bars
  • Burgers
  • Chips
  • Granola bars
  • Donuts

Did you know that the average fender bender without any injury’s costs about $7,000? That is the equivalent of around 3,000 trips to Starbucks, 3,500 orders of McDonald’s french fries, or 6,000 Hershey’s candy bars. If a driver and/or passenger are injured in a fender bender, then that number can take off to upwards of $70,000. Just some food for thought – eating while driving can cost you.

Eating while operating a vehicle is risky since it diverts your full focus from the road. It only takes a few seconds for a car accident to occur, and eating while driving may prevent you from reacting in time to prevent it. Here are a few more reasons why eating and driving is a major distraction:

  • Both hands are not on the wheel:When you eat, you probably use at least one of your hands to hold the food. This means you cannot have both hands on the wheel, and some drivers may even attempt to steer the wheel with their knees. This is very dangerous and increases your odds of being involved in a collision.
  • Reaction times are delayed: As previously noted, eating while driving causes you to lose concentration on the road ahead and instead concentrate on your meal, which slows down your reaction time. Car accidents can result from even a momentary distraction. Rather than fretting about the french fries that under the driver’s seat, attentive drivers might anticipate changes in traffic by noting signs indicating a lane closure or brake lights from the car in front of you.
  • Food is a distraction: Eating in general is a distraction, whether you realize it or not, and when you combine that with driving, then your focus is split. You may pay less attention to the road after hitting up Dunkin’ Donuts for your morning iced coffee and jelly donut because you are focused on not getting said donut or coffee on your clothes. The same goes for any type of food, so it is best to refrain from eating while driving. The NHTSA has found that 65% of near-miss accidents are due to drivers who are eating while driving. Even scarier, driving while behind the wheel increases your chances of being in a car crash by 80%.

Be careful when you are driving. Talk to your children about the risks of eating while driving. No food is truly safe to consume while driving, so eat your sandwich or cheeseburger once you have arrived at your destination. If you are involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver who was eating behind the wheel, texting, or engaging in some other kind of negligent behavior, our Florida Car Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. Call us now at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a completely FREE consultation.


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