Anything that takes a driver's attention off the road is included in the category of distracted driving, whether it is talking on the phone, adjusting the radio or even eating. Many distracting behaviors, such as eating while behind the wheel, are so common that they do not seem risky, but in reality, they are quite dangerous.
Many drivers, if not most, eat while driving at some point. In fact, this is one of the most common forms of distracted driving in Michigan and across the United States. In many accidents in which distraction played a role, eating while driving could be involved.
Why is eating while driving so dangerous?
Drivers may not even give eating while driving a second thought, but in reality, this simple action can cause a driver to experience one or more of three types of distraction. These include:
- Visual distraction: This occurs when a driver takes his or her eyes off the road for any reason. This could include looking at a passenger, reading a road sign, looking at a phone screen or even looking at a sandwich or paying more attention to a cup of coffee than the road.
- Manual distraction: This type of distraction happens when a driver removes one or both hands from the wheel for any reason. Eating requires at least one hand to be off the wheel, which is very dangerous, even when a driver is looking at the road.
- Cognitive distraction: Cognitive distraction happens when a person's mind is focused on things other than the task at hand. Even with both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, an unfocused driver can cause serious damage.
There is no excuse for distracted driving, no matter what the reason may be. Drivers who cause harm to others due to negligence may be liable for any emotional, physical and financial damage experienced by accident victims.
Defending your rights after a distracted driving accident
If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by distracted driving, you have rights. Even if you are unsure of the factors that may have played a role in what you experienced, you will find it beneficial to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you defend your rights.
The aftermath of an accident can leave you hurt and facing unexpected costs, but you do not have to face it alone. With the right legal support, you may be able to recover the financial losses you experienced if you suffered because of a distracted driver.