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Safety risk: Eating and drinking while driving

| Jun 23, 2020 | Car Accidents |

There are more sources of distraction for drivers than you may be aware of. For example, eating or drinking behind the wheel may seem normal enough, but it poses serious risks. The chances of getting in a crash are 3.6 times higher when drivers eat or drink, according to safety studies.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says eating or drinking from an open container can make a crash or near-crash nearly 39 percent more likely.

Cognitive, visual and manual distractions

Eating and drinking can constitute cognitive, visual and manual distractions, sometimes all at once. Cognitive distractions take one’s mind from driving while visual distractions force the eyes from the road. With a manual distraction, drivers take their hands from the steering wheel.

Drivers may find that it’s harder to multitask depending on the type of food or drink they are consuming. The NHTSA has published a list of the 10 most high-risk foods and drinks for drivers:

  • Coffee
  • Hot soup
  • Tacos
  • Chili dogs
  • Hamburgers
  • Ribs and wings
  • Fried chicken
  • Jelly donuts
  • Soda
  • Chocolate

Drivers are encouraged to avoid all eating and drinking while on the road. If they cannot do so because of a long trip, they should pull over for the sake of everyone’s safety.

Negligent driving behavior

Eating and drinking while driving is a form of distracted driving, which is, in turn, a form of negligence. The concept of negligence will not always enter into consideration after motor vehicle accidents since Kentucky is a no-fault state.

However, those whose injuries are so serious that the losses cannot be covered by personal injury protection may be able to file a third-party insurance claim, in which case they will need to prove the other’s negligence.