Eating or drinking while driving can significantly increase a person’s chances of being in a car accident in Connecticut or elsewhere. This is because an individual may experience manual, cognitive or visual distractions while doing so. For instance, a driver may take his or her eyes off of the road to unwrap a sandwich or to take a sip from a drink. Individuals may also attempt to drive with one hand on a steering wheel and one hand on their food.
A study by Lytx found that those who eat or drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be an accident compared to those who don’t. Individuals who buy food on their way home from work or school are encouraged to eat it when they get home. Those who feel the need to eat or consume a soft drink are encouraged to do so in a parking lot or while otherwise pulled over.
In addition to making the road safer for all involved, eating at home or while in a parking lot may make it easier to enjoy what is being consumed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hamburgers, tacos and doughnuts are among the most popular items consumed in vehicles. Coffee, soup and soda are among the most popular beverages consumed in vehicles according to the NHTSA.
Individuals who are hurt in auto accidents caused by distracted drivers may be entitled to compensation. An attorney may use driver statements or other evidence to show that a person was eating or otherwise distracted when he or she caused an accident. Compensation to pay for medical bills or lost future earnings might be obtained in a settlement or from a jury after a trial.