How Common Are Car Accidents Due To Eating While Driving?

You might not think munching on a snack or indulging in a hamburger while driving around poses much of a serious safety concern. But you might be surprised to learn just how often eating while driving leads to serious accidents, injuries, and even death. 

With that being said, you should think twice the next time you’re planning to have a meal behind the wheel. Once you know how common eating and driving crashes are, you’ll understand that it’s much wiser to wait to dig in once you reach your destination.  

Eating and Driving Accident Facts

According to the CDC, important facts to know about eating and driving in the U.S. include the following:

  • Nine people are killed each day in distracted driving accidents
  • Around 3,000 people die each year in distracted driving accidents
  • One in five people killed in distracted driving crashes are pedestrians or cyclists
  • Around 400,000 people are injured in distracted driving accidents each year
  • Among drivers aged 15-20 involved in fatal crashes in a recent year, 9% were distracted

Eating while driving is well-documented as a leading cause of distracted driving, alongside things like cell phone use and talking to passengers. However, crash statistics generally track car accidents by type, which means that few single out the act of eating while driving. 

With that in mind, it’s hard to say exactly how many of those deaths and injuries listed above were directly related to eating and driving. However, it’s easy to see that distracted driving as a whole frequently leads to wrongful death and life-altering injuries. And in some cases, these preventable tragedies are caused by drivers attempting to eat while behind the wheel. 

Is Eating While Driving Illegal?

Technically, eating while driving isn’t illegal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t end up with a ticket or worse for doing so. Most states don’t explicitly identify eating while driving as a driving infraction.

Eating can be a highly distracting activity. Reaching for food or spilling things on yourself or your car takes your attention off the road and can easily result in a crash. While you won’t be ticketed for eating, you can still end up with a ticket if eating causes you to drive recklessly or break traffic laws, like failing to yield. 

The Consequences of Causing a Crash While Eating

You can face serious consequences if you cause a crash while eating. You’ll likely be ticketed for moving violations, which can lead to points on your license and an increased insurance rate. 

But when a crash leads to death or catastrophic injury, you can also face criminal charges. For example, if a collision results in the death of another driver, it’s possible to be charged with a felony like vehicular manslaughter, a criminal charge that can lead to up to 20 years in prison.

You can also experience serious financial consequences for causing an eating-and-driving-related crash. If the other driver can prove that your distraction is what caused the crash, your insurance policy will end up having to pay for their injury costs. If the injuries are bad enough, you might even end up facing a lawsuit. 

Know Your Options After a Distracted Driving Crash

Eating while driving generally leads to distracted driving, and distracted driving results in crashes. If you’ve been injured in a collision, and you think the other driver’s distraction was behind it, it’s important to respond properly. 

It’s best to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as you can after an eating and driving accident. When a lawyer can get involved from the start, there’s a better chance of building a case to prove distracted driving and hold the other driver responsible for your car accident injuries. 

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in San Antonio, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in San Antonio, Texas, and need legal help, contact our San Antonio car accident lawyers at George Salinas Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

George Salinas Injury Lawyers
6243 I-10 Ste. 955, San Antonio, TX 78201
(210) 225-0909