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Eating and drinking: A serious distraction for drivers

| Aug 17, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries |

You may be used to eating behind the wheel during your commutes in Tennessee, but you should know that this can be twice as distracting as using a cellphone. This is according to a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Eating and drinking usually requires both hands

In most cases, drivers need to do a lot of preliminary work before they start eating or drinking. They must unfold paper bags, unwrap wrappers, tear open sauce packets, insert their straw and so on. All of this usually requires that drivers remove both hands from the steering wheel.

Drivers may instinctively want to pick up a dropped object or clean up any messes, taking their eyes off the road as well. The same goes for simply finding a place to set things down. Besides being a visual and manual distraction, eating and drinking pose a cognitive distraction. Even hearing passengers eating and smelling the food can make drivers inattentive.

Avoid eating and drinking behind the wheel

The number one way to avoid these dangers is to eat and drink before driving. If drivers order at a drive-thru, they should eat there in the parking lot. Drivers should not have food or drinks in the car while driving; that way, they won’t be tempted. When drinks are necessary, drivers should use a slim container that requires only one hand.

Lawyer for the victims of a distracted driver

Many auto accidents occur because of distracted drivers, and perhaps you were among the thousands of victims this year. As long as your degree of fault is less than the other’s, you may be able to file a claim against that person’s auto insurance company. If successful, you might be covered for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses.