In our fast-paced culture, it’s common to eat while doing something else. Test yourself: what were you doing during your last meal besides eating? Driving? Texting? Scrolling through Facebook? Watching TV? Distracted eating is common in our culture. However, not only does distracted eating potentially decrease our enjoyment of food, it can also create a hazard–especially when eating and driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 1995-2003, 10.5% of drivers were distracted at the time of their accident.
Three Types of Distraction
The NHTSA categorizes types of distractions drivers face: cognitive, visual, and manual. Cognitive distraction is when the driver’s mind is elsewhere–for instance, daydreaming can be a cognitive distraction. Visual distraction is when something the driver sees distracts him or her–for instance, taking your eyes off the road to admire the scenery. Manual distraction is when the driver’s hands leave the wheel–for instance, to adjust the radio, read a text, or make a phone call.
Eating is especially problematic because it is both a visual and manual distraction: the driver must manipulate and see the food in order to avoid a stray french fry or spilled coffee. In fact, it’s illegal to eat and drive in the state of California–the only state that currently has such a law.
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There are common sense guidelines drivers can follow to avoid distraction:
- Don’t eat and drive: save the food for when you’re at your destination or park somewhere to eat if you’re on the road.
- Don’t text and drive: many states have laws against texting and driving and obeying these laws are critical to your and others’ safety.
- Invest in hands free technology: if you must use your cell phone while in the car, invest in bluetooth technology so that you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
Distracted Drivers and You
Even if you are an attentive driver, that doesn’t mean everyone else on the road is. If you are in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence, the auto accident attorneys at Kryder Law can help you decide if litigation is the right move for you. We will defend your rights as an injured person and get you the compensation you deserve. Get a free case evaluation today or call our office to speak to a lawyer about your situation: (312) 223-1700.