Distracted Driving Caused by Eating Behind the Wheel?
Who hasn’t eaten while driving? Every morning can be a hectic experience because everybody has to get ready to go somewhere. It sometimes seems like you’re always running out of time or in a hurry. Whether you have kids who need to go to school or you have to go and get ready for work, mornings can be quite stressful. For some, one of the first things to go in the morning is having time to eat. That’s why it’s more convenient to grab a meal from a drive-thru window and eat behind the wheel.
However, this act of eating behind the wheel is considered as distracted driving similar to when the driver is texting or making a call while driving. With 3,166 people killed in car accidents because of distracted driving back in 2017, it’s more severe than what you think.
Distracted Driving in Michigan
The National Safety Council or NSC reports that at least nine Americans die every day because of distracted driving crashes. One hundred people are also injured every day for the same reason. With these numbers, the NSC assigned April as the Distracted Driving Awareness Month. They consider it as a united effort to bring to light the dangers of distracted driving and help prevent any more casualties from occurring.
The Michigan State Police identified three main types of distraction. These are the following:
- Visual – This happens when you take off your eyes from the road.
- Manual – This is when your hands are not on the wheel.
- Cognitive – This type of distraction is when your mind is not focused on what you’re doing.
In Michigan, texting while driving is illegal since July 1, 2010. In fact, a motorist who is caught texting behind the wheel will be fined $100 as a first offense. If it happens again and they get caught, it will cost them $200.
Note, however, that texting while driving is not the only activity that falls under distracted driving. Eating and drinking behind the wheel are included in the list too. But the difference between texting and calling while driving versus eating behind the wheel is that the latter is not really considered against the law. Nevertheless, in the event that you caused a traffic crash and if proven that you were distracted because you were indulging in a burger while driving or any other food, you may be penalized for it.
The Most Dangerous Foods to Eat Behind The Wheel
A study done by ExxonMobil among 1,000 drivers revealed that 70% of drivers confess to eating while driving, while 83% consume a beverage while driving. The same article noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the NHTSA identified the most dangerous food and drinks when it comes to distracted driving.
- Coffee – This beloved beverage takes the top spot. Even if you have a cup holder inside your cup, it doesn’t guarantee that your coffee will not splash all over your car when you hit a pothole. Once that coffee spills, your attention is already going to be focused on cleaning up the mess you made.
- Hot Soups – Did you know that some companies like Campbell’s have started to realize the more and more people are consuming food on-the-go, thus the need to make it more portable? Regardless of this effort, soups, just like coffee, can distract you once it spills all over your car.
- Tacos – Reconsider that quick taco run from Taco Bell. Better yet, just eat your meal in-store. You wouldn’t want your taco turning into a fiesta bowl when you hit a pothole right? If that happens, you are surely going to be distracted from driving.
The list goes on for the most dangerous foods to consume behind the wheel. The bottom line is, do not even attempt to do it. When you’re driving, it is crucial that you give the most attention to what you’re doing because you’re not only putting your life in danger when you’re distracted. You can also inflict harm on your passenger or a pedestrian crossing the road.
The Accident Caused by a Distracted Driver? The Clark Law Office is Here For You.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, then you will need an experienced Michigan personal injury lawyer. The Clark Law Office has won millions for clients all over Michigan. We have been continuously serving Michigan for over 30 years, and we make sure to dedicate our time and effort to winning your case.
If you’re ready to win your case, call our Lansing accident lawyers now at (517) 347-6900 or just fill out the inquiry form for a free case evaluation.
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