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What you should know about eating while driving

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2023 | Traffic Offenses

Many commuters enjoy a quick bite or satisfying sip while traveling. Only a fraction of them think about whether it is wise to do so, much less whether this act is legal.

A thorough understanding of what it means to engage in this practice will surely discourage drivers from this unwise behavior.

Understanding distracted driving

Distracted driving includes any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from the task of operating a vehicle. Dining behind the wheel is just one form of distracted driving. Amazingly, 52.5% of drivers admit to enjoying a snack on the road.

The legal aspect

Although laws on food consumption while driving vary, this doesn’t mean it is safe. If eating causes you to swerve into another vehicle or commit a minor traffic violation, you could be subject to fines and penalties.

The risks of eating while driving

Eating diverts your attention, thus increasing the likelihood of accidents. Highway bumps cause spills; the shock of a burn from a hot item might make maintaining control impossible. Juggling food and drink may slow your reaction time should you need to make sudden maneuvers in response to changing traffic conditions. Holding a burger, unwrapping a sandwich or fumbling with utensils means taking your hands off the wheel, a fundamental error.

Safety first

Regardless of the legalities, avoiding a wreck should always be the top priority. Remain focused at all times. If you need to quench your thirst or satisfy a rumble in your tummy, pull over to a safe location, such as a rest area, or wait until you reach your destination.

Although enjoying a snack while driving is not universally against the law, it is foolhardy due to the associated dangers. Should you get into an accident, few will care that a tasty treat explains the mishap.