After experiencing a car accident in California, your first thoughts (after seeing to your own safety) may likely focus on how is it that the driver that hit you could have lost control of their vehicle in such a way.
Many in your same position come to us here at Banning LLP describing the following scenario: seeing the driver with fresh food stains on their hands and clothing, along with open containers and food wrappers throughout their vehicle. If this describes your accident, then you may be the latest victim of a common yet underappreciated driving distraction: eating and drinking.
Types of driving distractions
Like many, you may think that eating and drinking are such natural actions that one could hardly describe them as distracting. Yet according to a joint research effort undertaken by the Auto Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, eating while driving causes one to engage in all three of the identified primary driving distractions:
One must release the steering wheel to grasp their food (a manual distraction), and direct their gaze and attention away from the road to avoid spills (both visual and cognitive distractions). While these distractions may only last for a moment, that may be sufficient to make a driver dangerous to others.
How dangerous is eating and drinking while driving?
Just how dangerous may they become? Per information shared by Lytx, eating and/or drinking while driving makes one 3.6 times more likely to experience (or cause) a car accident. You may want to consider such points when contemplating how to proceed following your accident.
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