Distracted Driving: Why Eating on the Go While Behind the Wheel Isn't a Good Idea

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We're busier than ever. With work, family, school, social, and community obligations constantly needing attention, it can feel as though we spend most of our time just darting from one place to another.

How eating in the car might cause distraction and accidents Neblett, Beard and ArsenaultWhen you're hungry and on the run, fast food restaurants and convenient stores offer quick and easy meal or snack options. Unfortunately, although grabbing a bite and messily devouring it behind the wheel in a flash may be convenient, it isn't good for you—and not just because of the food's questionable nutritional values.

Though eating while driving is extremely common, it can also be dangerous. A driver is 8 times more likely to be involved in a crash while reaching for something such as a drink, snack or cigarette.

For decades, agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have warned motorists of the dangers of eating on the go. One particularly concerning study found that eating or drinking increases your chances of being in a distracted driving crash or near -miss crash by 39%. 

Additionally, a study conducted by vehicle event recorder company Lytx found that drivers who eat or drink on the go are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a distracted driving accident than motorists who don't engage in that type of behavior.

What makes eating and driving so hazardous? It combines the three main types of driver distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Think about it—in the course of your meal, you might have to take your food out of its wrapper, eat it, find somewhere to put the garbage, respond to spills, and more. All these actions undoubtedly require you to take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mental focus off the task of driving safely.

Fortunately, food-related distracted driving accidents are entirely avoidable. Instead of eating while driving, set your alarm to wake you up just a few minutes earlier so you can eat at home. And don't keep food in your car—after all, if it's not there, you can't eat it and be distracted by it. Also, if you insist on enjoying a non-alcoholic beverage while driving, the NHTSA recommends choosing a slim travel bottle with an easy-open lid.

Injured by a Driver More Focused on Food Than the Road?

If you were hurt in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to a financial recovery for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The experienced car accident injury attorneys of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can help you build a strong case for financial recovery. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.588.6303 today to schedule your free consultation.


Wesley J. Gralapp
With over 25 years of experience, Attorney Wesley Gralapp helps personal injury victims throughout Louisiana.
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