Past posts on this blog detailed the fact that there are many other types of driving distractions other than one using their cell phone while behind the wheel. Eating and drinking while driving was specifically mentioned among them. It may surprise you to learn of this fact (as it does many people in Georgia), given that eating and drinking seem to be such natural actions that most would not describe them as distracting.

Yet indeed they are. In fact, information shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that as many as 80% of all car accidents may be due to eating and drinking while driving. A closer examination of the distractions caused by these actions reveals how just how dangerous they can be.

Reviewing the major types of driving distractions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three major types of driving distractions:

  • Cognitive
  • Visual
  • Manual

Cognitive distractions are those which pull a driver’s attention away from the road. Visual distractions take one’s eyes off the road ahead. Finally, manual distractions are those actions that require a driver to pull at least one hand off the steering wheel. When one eats or drinks a beverage behind the wheel, these distractions come into play in the following ways: they must pay attention to what they consume (cognitive), they need to look their food items or drinks (visual) and they need at least one hand to grasp them (manual).

Pinpointing eating or drinking as the cause of your accident

How are you to know if eating or drinking behind the wheel caused your car accident? Fresh stains on the clothing or hands of the driver that hit you (or on the floor or seats of their car) may be an indication. Open drink containers or food wrappers inside their vehicle may be as well.