Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents, and eating is an often overlooked source of distraction. Eating while you’re behind the wheel takes some of your attention away from the task of driving, especially if you have to reach over for a spilled bag of food or open a pack of ketchup.
The car is an increasingly common place for Americans to eat. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan states that one in every five American meals today is eaten in the car. At fast-food restaurants, meals ordered at drive-thrus make up a huge percentage of sales.
With the full schedules and long commutes of many Americans, eating in the car is sometimes unavoidable; however, refraining from eating in the car can prevent driver distraction leading to car accidents and subsequent injuries. While you drive, eating can distract you by:
- Requiring you to use your hands for eating, instead of keeping both hands on the wheel at all times.
- Taking your eyes off the road, if for only the shortest of moments.
- Pulling some of your mental concentration away from the task of driving.
Avoiding distractions can keep you and your passengers safe, and prevent car accidents that could injure other drivers on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s wrongful behavior, please contact the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., to schedule a consultation.