Brian White | January 7, 2023 | Car Accidents
Many drivers find themselves going through the drive-thru for a quick snack or meal before continuing a drive to their final destinations. Whether you’re munching on a bag of potato chips or eating something a little more messy, like a slice of pizza or a cheeseburger, eating while driving can distract you from the road.
Distracted driving is one of the most common culprits of car accidents. You may think of distracted driving as using a smartphone to text friends or family or trying to navigate a map. However, it also includes eating or drinking while driving and talking to others in the vehicle.
To minimize your chances of getting into an accident, you should limit your eating and drinking activities, keeping your focus entirely on the road.
Statistics on Accidents Involving Distracted Driving
According to the CDC, approximately 3,100 people died in accidents stemming from distracted driving in 2019. Another 424,000 individuals suffered injuries in distracted driving accidents.
Younger drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 have a greater risk of distracted driving accidents. The CDC found that distracted driving was the cause of 9% of collisions for drivers in this age range.
However, the phenomenon isn’t limited to younger drivers. Distracted driving accidents remain the cause of 4 to 7% of crashes in drivers older than 21.
According to an NHTSA survey, approximately 48% of drivers admit to eating or drinking while driving, making it one of the most prevalent distracted driving activities. Talking to other passengers and adjusting the car radio are two other distracting activities that drivers admit to participating in.
Why Eating While Driving Is Dangerous
You might not think much about your eating habits while on the road, but they affect your ability to navigate your trip safely. Here are a few reasons why eating is so dangerous when driving.
You’re Taking Your Hands Off the Wheel
When you eat while driving a vehicle, you’re more likely to remove your hands from the steering wheel. Many foods require two hands to eat, like sandwiches and burgers. Even a croissant or donut can require the use of both of your hands.
Removing your hands from the wheel can result in your car going in a different direction than you intend or prevent you from taking action when you need to in order to avoid an accident.
Your Focus Isn’t on the Road
Many Americans feel pressed for time, which can lead to driving while eating rather than performing these activities separately.
However, it’s best to wait until you’ve finished your drive before attempting to eat. With proper focus, you’re more likely to arrive safely at your destination.
It’s Best To Avoid Driving While Eating Completely
The best way to avoid distracted driving is to eat before you begin your trip. Spend a few extra minutes to eat your breakfast at home, and don’t indulge in food immediately after purchasing it from a drive-thru.
If you’re super hungry and need to make a food stop to refuel, consider going inside the restaurant to eat. That way, you’ll get a break from driving and avoid the temptation to eat on the road.
Finally, if you suffer injuries in a distracted driving accident, seek help from an experienced attorney. A Houston car accident lawyer can help you determine the steps to take to recover adequate compensation for your losses.
Contact the Houston Car Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
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Houston, TX 77098
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