How Common Are Car Accidents Due to Eating While Driving in Miami, Florida?
May 10, 2023 | Sagi Shaked | Car Accidents
Last year, Florida initiated a distracted driving awareness campaign aimed at reducing the overall number of distracted drivers throughout the state. In 2021, Florida saw 333 fatalities that resulted from distracted driving. That’s 333 deaths too many.
With the rise of hustle culture, it’s become common for people to eat in their cars while on their way to their next gig or appointment. What these people do not realize, though, is that eating while driving is a form of distracted driving. To help keep you and your loved ones safe, this post will focus on the dangers posed by eating while driving in Florida.
National Statistics on Distracted Driving
Eating while driving isn’t only a problem in Florida. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately nine people die every day in the United States as a result of distracted driving. Additionally, over 1,000 people per year are injured in car accidents where distracted driving is a factor.
Engaging in any of the following behaviors while driving could be considered distracted driving:
- Talking to other passengers
- Engaging in any behavior or action that takes your eyes off the road
As these examples indicate, distracted driving includes a very broad range of applicable actions. As such, it is important to remain aware of your behavior and surroundings whenever you are behind the wheel.
Key Statistics on the Dangers of Eating While Driving
Make no mistake: eating while driving takes your attention off the road. While it may seem trivial, this and similar actions have the potential to get you into considerable trouble.
Here are some key statistics concerning the dangers of eating while driving:
- Eating or drinking while driving triples the likelihood of an accident
- 65% of all near-miss accidents involve eating or drinking while driving
- The NHTSA estimates that eating while driving makes accidents 80% more likely
- You are eight times more likely to crash when reaching for something
Additionally, the NHTSA’s page on distracted driving states that sending a text forces a driver to take their eyes off the road for at least five seconds. If you are going 55 miles per hour, your vehicle can traverse the length of an entire football field in the span of five seconds. Reaching for food and beverages can have a similar effect on your ability to watch the road.
Other Dangers of Eating While Driving
Eating while driving is a form of multitasking. When you are engaged in that behavior while behind the wheel, you are breaching your duty of care to protect other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians with whom you share the road. With that in mind, here are some reasons it is dangerous to eat while driving.
Eating While Driving Delays Your Reaction Time
Every time you shift your focus to something else, your reaction time is delayed. If another vehicle stops in front of you right at that second, you may not be able to avoid hitting them.
You Need Two Hands to Eat
Eating some foods requires you to take your hands off the wheel entirely. In an emergency or a sudden change of conditions, recovering control can be difficult or even impossible.
Taking Your Eyes Off the Road Is Dangerous
When driving, it is imperative that you remain focused at all times. Taking your eyes off the road to grab that next morsel leaves you and your passengers vulnerable to any changes in conditions.
Avoid Eating While Driving To Prevent Car Accidents in Miami, FL
Now that you know a little more about the dangers of eating and driving, you can plan ahead when you schedule your next set of tasks. By consuming food before you get in the car, you reduce your chances of engaging in behavior that could potentially harm yourself and others.