Eating and drinking can be distractions for drivers

| Jun 3, 2020 | Firm News |

There are many kinds of distractions that drivers in Pennsylvania can fall victim to. Some force motorists to take their hands off the steering wheel (manual distractions) while some take their eyes off the road (visual distractions). Still others cause the mind to wander from the task of driving (cognitive distractions).

Eating and drinking while driving is actually one of the worst forms of distracted driving, as it can combine all three of the above-mentioned types of distraction. In 2014, the telematics company Lytx conducted a study where it found that eating and drinking raises the risk for a car crash 3.6 times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that eating and drinking from an open container makes a crash or near-crash nearly 39% more likely.

Drivers should try to avoid all food and drink behind the wheel, and if a long trip requires that they eat while on the road, they could pull over for this. At the very least, they should try to avoid those foods and drinks that pose the highest risk. NHTSA gave a list of 10 such items, and it ranged from tacos and hamburgers to soup and coffee. Chocolate, barbecued foods and fried chicken were also there.

Any number of things, including phones, infotainment systems, billboards and even conversations with passengers, raise the risk for an accident, especially when drivers are inexperienced. Whatever the reason behind a crash, though, victims may be able to file a personal injury claim against the responsible driver if they suffered serious injuries that cannot be covered by their own insurer. One of the first things that victims can consider doing is have a lawyer evaluate their case.