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The distractions caused by eating while driving

Oftentimes there are telltale indicators at the scene of a car accident in New Haven that suggest that the driver responsible for it was distracted. Most might assume that indicator to be a cell phone, and that if one is found in the driver console of a crashed vehicle, that the driver was either talking or texting. Yet as awareness increases of other methods of distraction that many employ while driving, authorities and investigators may start looking for other clues (such as discarded food wrappers or empty drink cups). 

The danger associated with eating while driving is widely underappreciated. Most believe eating and drinking to be such instinctive tasks that they would not qualify them as distractions, yet research says otherwise. Information shared by the Traffic Injury Prevention Journal shows eating while driving to be as potentially distracting as texting. One might argue that it might present an even greater danger to drivers given that so many people do it. 

A study conducted by researchers at Exxon Mobil shows that as many as 70 percent of drivers admit to eating while driving. While they may not comprehend it, they are engaged in several different forms of distraction when doing so. Unwrapping, grasping and eating food requires looking at it, which pulls one's vision away from the road. He or she must also release the steering wheel to grasp it. Finally, the act of eating does require thought, which ensures that one's total focus is not left on the road. Any other activity that required this amount of attention while driving would likely be classified as a distraction. While eating while driving is certainly not a criminal act, it certainly could open the door to liability claims. 

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