In the immediate aftermath of you having been involved in a car accident in San Jose, your first thoughts may be how is that the person that caused the accident could have lost control of their vehicle in the way that they did. After seeing them with food or grease stains on their clothing (or spills on the seats or floor of their vehicle, you may just have your answer. Many of those that come to see us here at Shea & Shea – a Professional Law Corporation are surprised at just how distracting eating while driving can be. If you share the same surprise, a quick glance at why eating behind the wheel can be so distracting will show you why.
Per information gathered in a joint effort between the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance, eating and drinking behind the wheel causes three types of distractions:
- Cognitive: Having to take one’s attention away from the road
- Visual: Having to take one’s eyes off the road
- Manual: Having to use one (or both) of one’s hands
While eating and drinking beverages does indeed require such action, you might think it to be such a natural action that it requires little to no thought whatsoever. Yet the numbers do not lie; a 2014 Lynx study showed that those who eat and/or drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Few people, however, realize this, which is why eating and drinking while driving remains a major type of distraction. One who does so and then collides with you and others in their vehicle may certainly be said to have been negligent (even if such negligence was unintentional).
More information on recognizing distracted driving can be found throughout our site.