Being distracted – using a cell phone, eating, talking to passengers in the car, changing the radio, etc. – can be dangerous. In fact, distracted driving has been a cause of thousands of car accidents, fatalities, and serious injuries. In the year 2013, 3,154 people were killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver, according to distraction.gov.
One type of seemingly innocent distraction that can be very dangerous for both the driver and others on the road is eating while driving. The following reviews the information found in the latest study published by the University of Leeds regarding the dangers of eating while driving.
Driving With One Hand on the Wheel May Be Deadly
Scientists at the University of Leeds, using a driving simulator (rather than actual crash data), found that reaction time slowed significantly when the participant (driver) was eating from behind the wheel or only had one hand on the wheel.
- For drivers with both hands on the wheel: average reaction time in the event of a crash was five seconds
- For drivers who were eating with just one hand on the wheel: average reaction time slowed to about ten seconds
- For drivers who were drinking a beverage rather than eating, with one hand on the wheel: average reaction time was six seconds
As a reminder, one can drive the length of one football field in the span of five seconds if traveling at 55 mph. Finally, know that these drivers were also 18 percent more likely to experience poor ability to control the vehicle within their lane.
Motorists Unaware of the Dangers of Driving While Eating
The dangers of texting while driving or using a handheld mobile device while driving are widely publicized, as are the risks of drinking while driving or otherwise driving while impaired. However, the dangers of eating while driving are talked about much less often.
Eating while driving, sipping on a drink, smoking, applying makeup (and other activities that require a motorist to only drive with one hand) are not against the law in Pennsylvania, like using a mobile device is.
Distracted Driving and Car Accidents: Who is to blame?
Eating while driving can be a very distracting activity, and may lead to a car accident. If you’re in a car accident caused by a driver who was distracted at the time of the collision, that driver may be held liable for your injuries. An attorney can help you to gather evidence and prove negligence.
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we have experience in distracted driving cases.You will need serious evidence to back up a claim against another driver as, more often than not, he or she will not confess to distracted driving. Call us at 215-642-2335 so that we can begin collecting evidence today.