There are very few people who can admit to never eating behind the wheel. There are even cup holders in vehicles, suggesting that having drinks on hand is a good idea. The problem is that studies have now shown that eating while driving can be as dangerous as texting, which is bad news for anyone who wants a quick bite on the road.
Distracted Driving is Illegal
It's not illegal to eat behind the wheel, but distracted driving is. If eating takes your mind off the road, results in hazardous driving or results in a crash, the authorities could charge you for distracted driving. Studies have shown that eating behind the wheel increases your risk of a crash significantly, though not as much as texting, because it may take your hands off the wheel and your mind off the road.
If you want to eat when you're in your car, consider stopping at a fast food establishment and pausing in the parking lot. If you have food in your vehicle, pull over to the side of the road if you absolutely must have something to eat while you drive. It's less dangerous, and it helps you focus on what you're doing. Pulling over also helps prevent spills, which could cause you to jerk the wheel and cause a collision.
If you're in a car accident because someone else was eating behind the wheel, you could be able to seek compensation from that person. If you did the same, they could seek compensation from you. Your attorney can help you file a claim once you're ready to move forward.
Source: USA Today College, "Studies show eating while driving is almost as dangerous as texting," accessed July 13, 2017