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The distraction caused by eating while driving

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident in Greensboro, your first reaction may likely be to understand what might have caused the person who caused the crash to make such an egregious error behind the wheel. Those in similar situations that have come to members of our team here at Jay Gervasi, P.A. for help sometimes paint a similar picture: drivers emerging from their vehicles with food stains on their clothing and hands. 

This prompts the question of whether the other driver might have been eating when the accident occurred. Eating while driving may not strike you as a serious driving distraction, but statistics show that it indeed is. 

A dangerous (and common) driving distraction 

Indeed, information gathered in a joint venture between the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance shows that those who choose to eat or drink behind the wheel are 3.6 times more likely to experience a car accident than those who do not. What is even more alarming is the statistic shared by Exxon Mobil, that as many as 70% of drivers admit to eating while driving. This no doubt contributes to the data shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which estimates that as many as 80% of car accidents may be due to this particular distraction. 

Why is eating while driving distracting? 

Eating may seem to you to be such a natural action that it hardly seems distracting. Yet a closer look at the actions involved shows that the driver that hit you (had they been eating when the collision occurred) would have had at least one hand off the steering wheel (to grasp their food), and their attention as well as their vision off the road. Cumulatively these distractions are sufficient to cause an accident. 

You can discover more information on distracted driving throughout our site.