Many drivers in Michigan think that if they keep their phone out of sight, they can drive attentively. The reality is that there are numerous other sources of distraction that can put drivers in just as much risk for an accident. Take eating and drinking, for instance.
In an ExxonMobil survey of 1,000 drivers, 83% of respondents said they drink beverages behind the wheel, and over 70% said they eat while on the road. This is despite the fact that eating makes an accident 80% more likely, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Not all foods and drinks are equal
The NHTSA study even gave a list of the 10 most dangerous foods and drinks that drivers can consume. At the top was coffee, followed by hot soup. Spilling either product can spell disaster for a driver and for anyone else sharing the road. After that on the list came tacos, chili, hamburgers and barbecued foods. It makes sense because these are messy foods that force drivers to reach for a napkin.
The list continued with fried chicken, a greasy food that could make steering difficult. In eighth place came donuts that are powdered or filled with cream or jelly, which are all capable of leaving a mess on one’s lap. Rounding out the list were soft drinks and chocolate.
Determining fault in an accident
Eating or drinking while driving is a form of distracted and, therefore, negligent driving. Whenever negligence is behind car accidents, those injured through no fault of their own may, provided that personal injury protection does not cover all their losses, file a third-party insurance claim.
To see where you stand, you may have a lawyer evaluate your case. Crash investigators might come in to prove the other driver’s negligence. In some cases, this can be easy if investigators uncover stains showing that the other driver had spilled a distracting food or beverage.