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The dangers associated with eating while driving

by | Mar 3, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

If asked, most in The Woodlands would likely say that they are responsible drivers. Many would claim to follow speeding regulations and to practice defensive driving tactics, and to also express a belief that their driving habits help them avoid accidents. Yet thousands of car accidents still occur in Montgomery County each year (9,417 in 2017 alone, according to the Texas Department of Transportation). While many traffic accidents are just that, oftentimes there are distinct reasons behind them. A common one may be something that those mentioned earlier as classifying themselves as responsible drivers do every day. 

Eating while driving is an activity that many may not classify as distracting. Statistics suggest otherwise. Data compiled through a joint effort between the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance shows that drivers who eat and drink beverages behind the wheel are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in car accidents than those who do not. Such information implies that eating while driving can be as dangerous as other more common forms of negligent driving, such as operating a vehicle while intoxicated, driving while drowsy or texting while behind the wheel. 

Most, however, might claim that eating is such aa natural action that they are able to do it without thinking. Yet one who is eating while behind the wheel must divert his or her eyes and attention away from the road (even if only for a brief moment) to focus on what they are eating. Couple that with the fact that they must remove at least one hand from the wheel to grasp whatever they are eating, and it suddenly becomes much easier to envision eating while driving as a distracting activity. By extension, one who is proven to be eating behind the wheel could be accused of negligence.