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Food and drink are common driver distractions

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2020 | Personal Injury

Many safety-conscious drivers in Texas may avoid using their phone behind the wheel, but there are a host of other activities that can take their attention from the road. One of them is eating and drinking.

In 2014, the telematics provider Lytx conducted a study where it found out that drivers raise their risk for a crash 3.6 times if they eat and drink. Eating and drinking from open containers makes a crash or near-crash nearly 39% more possible, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Eating and drinking can be a cognitive, visual and/or manual distraction. These are the three types of distractions and are largely self-explanatory. Cognitive distractions take a driver’s mind off the road while visual distraction takes the eyes off it. Manual distractions take a driver’s hands off the steering wheel. Food and drink can especially pose a distraction when spilled.

Certain foods and drinks are obviously going to pose a greater threat to safety than others. For this reason, the NHTSA made a list of the top 10 most dangerous foods and drinks. The list included chocolate, fried chicken, tacos, hamburgers, soup and coffee. Drivers should keep the list in mind and avoid these items at the very least. When on long trips, they could pull over to the side to eat.

Distracted driving is negligence, and whenever negligence is behind a crash, which is most of the time, it can open the way for a personal injury claim. Those who were injured may want a lawyer to evaluate their case under the state’s modified comparative negligence rule. If the case is strong, the lawyer may take it on and handle all negotiations for a settlement with the insurance companies.