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Identifying the risks of eating while driving

You and others in Annapolis have been inundated with stories and statistics detailing the dangers that drunk or drowsy drivers pose. Yet another class of drivers exists that might be equally as dangerous: distracted drivers. You might only envision those who talk or text on their phones while behind the wheel as being distracted, yet drivers who choose to engage in activities as seemingly simple as eating also qualify as such. How dangerous can those who eat while driving be? Just ask any of the clients that we here at & have worked with who have been hit by them. 

Information compiled through a joint effort between The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Auto Alliance shows that drivers who eat or drink while behind the wheel 3.6 times more likely to be involved in accidents than those who do not. Yet few seem to be aware of this fact, as evidenced by additional data showing that 70 percent of drivers admit to eating while operating their vehicles. 

How can you know if a driver that hit you was eating when your accident occurred? Look for telltale signs such as: 

  • Food wrappers and containers strewn throughout his or her vehicle
  • Greasy finger or handprints of his or her vehicle’s steering wheel
  • Fresh spills or stains on his or her clothing or vehicle upholstery 

Why can eating while driving be dangerous? It forces one to take his or her vision and attention away from the road (if even for a split second). One must also release the steering wheel with at least one hand to grasp whatever is being eaten. Thus, no matter how instinctual eating may seem, it can definitely be distracting. Tips of how to identify other forms of driving distractions can be found here on our site. 

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