How Common Are Car Accidents Due to Eating While Driving in Gainesville, Florida?
Bill Allen | June 8, 2023 | Car Accidents
Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents across the country. These accidents are prevalent in part because many people engage in distracted driving behaviors unknowingly. That’s because distracted driving is more than texting or talking on your phone while driving.
Distracted driving can include eating while driving, turning your head to talk to one of your passengers, or even adjusting console controls for music or navigation. Basically, distracted driving can occur any time you take your attention away from the road for a prolonged period of time.
If you live or frequently commute in Gainesville, FL, it is important to consider how common eating and driving car accidents are in the area. That way, you can protect yourself, your family, and everyone else on the road.
Distracted Driving in Florida
Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents nationwide that has resulted in thousands of preventable deaths, and Florida is no exception. In fact, distracted driving is more common in Florida than in many other states.
A 2023 report ranked Florida as the 10th worst state for distracted driving. According to the report, the Sunshine State saw 569 distracted driving deaths from 2020 to 2021.
There are several contributing factors to Florida earning a spot on this list. Each year, Florida sees large numbers of tourists and visitors who are unfamiliar with its topography. Additionally, the state has a high population density and a climate that allows for year-round driving.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), distracted driving in the United States results in the deaths of approximately nine people per day.
Anything that takes your attention off the road could be considered distracted driving.
When it comes to eating while driving, there are a few relevant statistics to keep in mind:
- Eating or drinking while driving triples your odds of getting into an accident
- 65% of near-miss accidents involve a driver who is eating or drinking
- You are eight times more likely to be in an accident when reaching for an object
- You traverse the length of a football field in 5 seconds when traveling at 55 MPH
Unfortunately, eating while driving can seem like second nature to some drivers. Many do not think twice about it, nor do they realize the severe implications such actions could have.
Why Is Eating While Driving Dangerous?
Anytime you are engaging in any activity other than driving on the road, your attention is dedicated elsewhere. And even a distraction lasting only seconds can have serious consequences.
When your eyes and ears are not focused on the road, it takes time to realign and realize what is going on around you. This seemingly small delay can make a great difference when you’re operating thousands of pounds of metal traveling at high speeds.
Eating While Driving Can Have Legal Implications
When operating a vehicle, drivers are legally obligated to follow a duty of care, which is intended to preserve the well-being of themselves and others on the road. Eating and driving breaches this duty of care by serving as a distraction from maintaining that responsibility.
This means that if you are in a car accident and were eating at the time, you may be held legally responsible for the accident and any injuries suffered because of it.
Stay Safe and Avoid Distracted Driving in Florida
Eating while driving can seem harmless, but even skilled drivers can suffer accidents when driving distracted. These accidents are common in Florida. To keep yourself and others safe, it’s best to avoid eating or drinking while driving in Gainesville and ensure your attention is always focused on the road.
Contact Our Gainesville Car Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
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