In Orlando, Winter Park, FL and surrounding areas, drivers are expected to be reasonably careful as they operate their vehicles. This means making sure they refrain from distracted driving behaviors that could cause them to become involved in a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, many drivers still do other things besides focus on the wheel as they drive. A personal injury lawyer knows that one very common behavior - eating and driving - can present significant risks of a crash occurring.
Eating and Driving Risks For Motorists
Eating and driving is generally not illegal behavior, although it is high risk behavior. In some cases, however, people have been cited for eating and driving under distracted driving laws. Just recently, for example, the New York Times wrote of a man who received a moving violation because he was eating a burger as he was driving his car down the street. The motorist was upset he had received the ticket and he was planning on contesting the citation in court. He told the Times that the officer who cited him had kept explaining that he couldn't just drive down the road while eating his burger.
Many motorists would be equally surprised to find themselves receiving a citation for eating and driving, and it would be difficult for states to get laws passed to explicitly prohibit this behavior. This is because eating and driving is something that almost everyone does. As the New York Daily News reports, a survey of 1,000 drivers found that 83 percent drank beverages while driving and 70 percent consumed food while driving.
Any eating or drinking forces you to remove a hand from the wheel and to divert some of your attention away from focusing on the road and instead to focusing on the food you're eating. However, some foods and beverages are more dangerous than others. When asked to make a list of some of the highest-risk foods to consume while simultaneously driving, motorists listed:
- Hot coffee
- Chicken wings and ribs
- Jelly donuts
Even when coffee or other hot foods have a lid on them, these foods could spill and cause a driver to burn himself. A sudden burn could cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle, potentially causing a serious accident.
Statistics on the involvement of food in crashes show that drivers who eat may be dangerous. In around 80 percent of motor vehicles that occur in the U.S., a driver is eating something. In 65 percent of near-miss accidents, the driver is eating something. A near-miss accident means that the driver almost became involved in a collision but was able to avoid the crash at the last second.
Motorists need to be know the very real risks associated with trying to eat or drink while also staying focused on the road and driving safely. Even if eating and driving isn't illegal under any express law, motorists shouldn't put their own lives or the lives of others in jeopardy. If a driver is considered to have taken unreasonable risks, he can be held responsible for any resulting collisions that occur.
Central Florida accident victims and families who lost loved ones can contact Orlando personal injury attorney Richard B. Troutman by calling 866-434-5770 or visit http://www.richardtroutman.com. Serving Orlando, Winter Park, FL and surrounding areas.