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Exploring the dangers of eating while driving

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2021 | Car Accident

Oftentimes assigning fault for a car accident in Illinois may be more difficult than you may think. While the results of a driver’s actions are often apparent, the cause of them may not be so.

Many people come to us here at Cassian & Carter, LLC describing the following scenario: the driver that caused their accident emerges from their vehicle with fresh food stains on their clothing, and further inspection reveals opened food wrappers strewn about their car. If accurately depicts the aftermath of your car accident as well, then you may have fallen victim to a grossly underappreciated form of distracted driving: eating while driving.

The dangers of eating behind the wheel

Like many, you may view driving as such a natural action that you would hardly classify it as distracting. Yet consider the following statistic: according to information compiled in a joint research effort between the Auto Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, eating or drinking behind the wheel makes one 3.6 times more likely to experience an accident. That translates to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimating the chances of an accident (or a near-accident) occurring by as much as 39%.

Why is eating while driving distracting?

If eating and drinking seem so natural to us, how then could they be distracting? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies three major types of driving distractions:

  • Manual
  • Visual
  • Cognitive

Eating while behind the wheel causes a driver to engage in all three simultaneously.

You can learn more about assigning liability for a car accident by continuing to explore our site.