Skip to Content
Call Us Today! 530-413-0245

Is Eating While Driving Distracted Driving?

man sitting in the driver's seat of a car in a traffic jam holding a half-eaten burger in his right hand

Distracted driving is often only centered around using a cell phone when behind the wheel. However, many other, often overlooked, actions drivers take could pose a significant risk of distraction, including eating and drinking.

Although fast-food restaurants, cupholders, and the creation of "car tables" has made eating behind the wheel commonplace, it overlooks how distracting this can really be.

Why is Eating While Driving Dangerous?

Eating while driving is primarily dangerous because it takes away a driver's ability to have both hands on the wheel. This increases the likelihood of veering off course or not being able to react quickly enough in the event of an emergency. One study even found that a driver's reaction time is inhibited by 44% when eating.

Another reason is that it can be difficult to fully focus on both the road and your food at the same time. This could lead to missing critical visual cues and not reacting in time if something were to happen. When combined with the above, eating and drinking can be a visual, cognitive, and manual distraction for a driver.

Are Some Food and Drinks Riskier Than Others?

Specific types of food and drink may be hazardous in and of themselves to consume while driving. For example, if hot coffee is spilled onto the driver, they run the risk of sustaining burn injuries and may also react to the spill aggressively, putting the vehicle at risk of hitting another object. So, while stopping for coffee on your morning commute is a must-have, try to wait to drink it until you are at the office.

Northern California Car Accident Attorneys

Distracted driving significantly impacts road users every day and can often result in devastating injuries or even death. Because of this, drivers should remain attentive to the road at all times and avoid performing actions that could put themselves and others at risk.

Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley is dedicated to helping drivers hold others accountable for the damages they cause. If you or a loved one was injured by a distracted driver, call (530) 413-0245 to schedule a free consultation today to discuss your legal options.