Some people in Florida may think of distracted driving as actions such as texting while behind the wheel, but much more common activities can also lead to distracted driving. Eating is a major cause of distracted driving as is drinking even when the beverage is not alcohol.
There are three basic types of distraction that can make a driver inattentive. Manually distracted drivers have removed their hands from the wheel. Visually distracted drivers have looked away from the road. A cognitively distracted driver may have his or her hands on the wheel and his or her eyes on the road, but the person’s mind is not on driving, and this can be as dangerous as the first two types of distractions. Like many other types of distracting behaviors, eating and drinking can lead to a combination of these.
In 2014, a Lytx study found that driving while eating or drinking makes an accident more than three times more likely to occur. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate, the chance of an accident taking place is 39% higher if the driver is eating or drinking. Among the eating- and drinking-related activities that can cause multiple distractions are unwrapping food, adding condiments to food and using napkins. Spilling a drink, particularly if it is hot, can be particularly distracting.
Accidents caused by distracted driving, whether they are the result of eating, texting while driving or other actions, can lead to serious injuries. A driver who causes these accidents might be required to compensate the individuals who are injured in these accidents. People who are hurt in a motor vehicle crash want to contact an attorney. In some cases, there could be a dispute about what caused the injuries, particularly in situations in which there is sometimes a delay between the accident and the symptoms, such as whiplash or a traumatic brain injury.