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Eating and drinking is a known cause of distracted driving

Drivers in Ohio and across the country can be distracted in a multitude of ways. While the common issues that can lead to a distracted driver is use of a smartphone, texting and other activities with the device, drivers can also be distracted by eating and drinking. Research has been examining the numerous issues that lead to a distraction and eating and drinking is a notorious problem. For those who are in car accident, a factor to consider as its cause is whether the other driver was doing this.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that driving while eating or drinking increases the chance of a car crash by 70 percent vs. those who are not eating or drinking. This comes in second to a driver who holds a cellphone or speaks on a cellphone with a hands-free device as ways for drivers to be distracted. While other distracting behaviors are more prominently known as risky, eating or drinking is frequently ignored in spite of its danger.

The study by IIHS showed that drivers between 40 and 50-years-old were seen to partake in this behavior more than people of other ages. Next came those between the ages of 20 and 30. After that were teens ages 16 to 17. Next were drivers between 60 and 70. Distractions are defined as anything that removes the driver's attention from the road, the mind from operating the vehicle, or the driver's hands from the wheel. Simply holding food or drink can be a distraction. IIHS stated that more drivers ate or drank when alone in the vehicle and not when there were others in the car.

Drivers gave the excuse that better technology allows them to engage in certain behaviors because new technology has made driving safer. This does not eliminate the risk that arises from being distracted. Those who are in an auto accident need to be aware of the possibility that the other driver was distracted by eating or drinking. A crash reconstruction can help to determine how the accident occurred. For assistance in the investigation and pursuing compensation because of injuries or a fatality in a crash, it is important to discuss the matter with an attorney experienced in auto accidents.

Source: glendalestar.com, "Chew unto others: Eating and driving ups crash risk 70 percent," John Walter, Feb. 2, 2017

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