Can I File A Personal Injury Claim If I Was Hit By A Driver Who Was Eating Behind The Wheel?
If you were hit and injured by a driver who was eating while driving, you might be wondering if you can file a personal injury claim and recover compensation because, under the laws of America, distracted driving is negligent behavior, and it does not matter what the distraction is. Reach out to a qualified personal injury attorney if you were hit by a driver who was eating behind the wheel.
Is It Illegal to Eat While Driving?
It’s not against the law for a driver to eat behind the wheel, as there is no law in the United States that makes such behavior illegal. So, if a law enforcement officer observes a motorist eating a sandwich or any other food behind the wheel, they cannot pull the driver over. An officer can only stop a driver who is eating behind the wheel if they committed a primary offense such as speeding, tailgating, disobeying a traffic signal, or making an illegal U-turn.
However, just because it is not against the law to eat behind the wheel does not mean it is okay to engage in such behavior. Eating behind the wheel can be extremely dangerous.
The Dangers of Eating While Driving
Eating while driving is a common thing in the United States of America. This is because of drive-thru restaurants and the hectic American lifestyle. For many drivers, eating behind the wheel is such a normal thing. Many drivers do not realize that eating while driving is a form of distracted driving behavior that is extremely dangerous. Contrary to what many people think, texting while driving is not the only form of distracted driving behavior. Anything that takes a driver’s hand(s) off the wheel, eye(s) off the road, or mind off the task of driving, including food, is considered a distraction.
Eating while driving can lead to cognitive, manual, and visual impairment. Cognitive impairment can occur when a driver has to focus on eating. Concentrating on driving while also focusing on eating can be a challenge. Manual impairment can occur, for example, when a motorist is unwrapping a sandwich or holding food. Such actions prevent a driver from keeping both their hands on the wheel. Lastly, visual impairment can occur when a motorist looks at their food. At that particular moment, when a driver is looking at their food, they are not looking at the road ahead, which can pose a significant danger.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), eating while driving increases the chances of a driver getting into an accident by 80%. The NHTSA estimates that more than 60% of near-miss auto accidents are caused by distracted motorists fussing with food and drinks. This means that eating while driving is just as dangerous as texting while driving, if not more dangerous.
Drivers should always plan ahead so they can avoid eating behind the wheel. And if a driver gets hungry while driving, they should park and eat first instead of risking.
Proving the Other Driver Was Eating Behind the Wheel
As you already know by now, if you were hit and injured by a driver who was eating behind the wheel, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim and recover compensation. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you with your case. Proving that the driver who hit you was eating while driving can be challenging, but an experienced attorney can use several types of evidence to help you prove your case. The following are some of the pieces of evidence a personal injury attorney can use to help you prove the driver who hit you was eating behind the wheel;
- Witness statements – If any people saw the driver eating behind the wheel before your accident happened, their statements could help you prove your claim.
- Police report – After the police arrive at the scene of an accident, they conduct a preliminary investigation and prepare a report. The police who responded to your accident may have written in their report that they saw food in the other driver’s car.
- Accident scene photos – If you took pictures of the other car and managed to capture food inside the vehicle, an attorney can help you prove your claim using these pictures.
Contact a Naples Car Accident Attorney
If you were hit and injured by a driver who was eating behind the wheel, contact our Naples car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro for professional legal guidance. We can also help you file a personal injury claim and fight for the compensation you deserve.