The Hazards Of Eating While Driving
Distracted driving is a major cause of automobile accidents throughout the world, while cellphone usage may be a primary cause of distracted driving in this day and age, a more traditional distraction is eating while driving which can be even more dangerous. According to studies carried out by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration or NHTSA, the 3 primary types of distracted driving which may put drivers as well as others such as passengers at risk are visual, manual and cognitive distractions. These distractions serve to impact a driver’s ability to focus while on the road.
Any distractions that can cause drivers to look away from the road and car mirrors are known as visual distractions. Distractions that may cause drivers to remove one or both hands from their steering wheel or a gear are known as manual distractions and lastly, cognitive distractions cause drivers to take their mind off the road. Each one of these distractions is enough to cause an accident with grievous consequences, however when a person is eating and driving at the same time, he is presented with all 3 of these distractions. It is a fact that drivers have control over their distractions, i.e. 97% of distractions are by choice of the driver thereby putting themselves and others on the road at risk.
People generally adopt a lax attitude when the topic of eating or drinking behind the wheel is brought up. They believe it does not pose a major risk, however numerous statistical reports and other research data indicate otherwise. According to studies, drivers that eat or drink behind the wheel are 3 times as more likely to get into an accident as a regular driver. Over 80% of people regularly drink beverages when driving and over 65% eat when behind the wheel. The NHTSA has conducted research in this regard and has warned of the hazards associated therein. Certain types of foods or beverages are especially dangerous to partake when driving such as hot coffee. If hot coffee spills on the driver it causes a physical reaction which can certainly have grievous consequences especially in heavy traffic.
The top 10 most dangerous beverages to partake in while driving have been determined by a study conducted by the NHTSA. They are:
- Jelly and cream filled donuts
- Barbecued food
- Fried chicken
- Hot Soup
The majority of food items listed are hot and easy to spill, or they make a driver’s hands dirty, sticky or greasy. These food items cause people to try to wipe their hands or clean up a spill while driving and such a distraction may prove fatal especially in heavy traffic and at high speeds. While it is important to identify the above mentioned food items as hazardous, it is important to remember that eating or drinking anything behind the wheel can have dire consequences. It is up to us to choose not to get distracted by eating or drinking while driving and prevent any catastrophic injuries that may occur as a result. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident in Florida, please contact west palm beach car accident lawyer today to safeguard your rights and get the compensation you deserve.