driving while eating

Eating While Driving – Is it Legal?

Eating while driving is a problem all around the country, whether it is done out of convenience or to save time. Every meal eaten while driving offers a risk, but some meals are more distracting than others. Hot coffee, tacos, hamburgers, fried chicken, jelly doughnuts, and chocolate are among the top 10 items to avoid eating while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The average cost of a minor collision for a driver is $8,900. But when drivers and their passengers suffer injuries, that number soars (to upwards of $70,000).

Seven percent of the country admits to eating while driving every single day, with 56 percent of Americans admitting to doing so on a semi-regular basis.

Is There a Law That Makes Eating Illegal?

Is it illegal to eat and drive? There isn’t a law that forbids eating while driving in any state in the United States. So, eating while driving is not against the law.

It doesn’t matter why you were driving carelessly. An officer may issue a citation for a careless driving ticket based on how you drive, not whether you were eating, nodding off while driving, or just having fun.

The law does not expressly forbid eating and driving. However, it does forbid negligent driving due to eating while driving.

When you drive carelessly, you show deliberate or blatant disrespect for other people’s safety.

is it illegal to eat and drive

What’s Considered Distracted Driving?

Eighty percent more crashes are likely to occur when eating while driving. You might be wondering if it is illegal to eat and drive.  The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration says this (NHTSA). Eating while driving is risky for the same reasons that texting while driving is. These elements consist of:

Cognitive Distractions: When a driver is eating or trying to prevent dropping food, their attention is off the road.

Manual Distractions: A driver can’t keep both hands on the wheel while holding or unwrapping food.

Visual Distractions: A driver is not looking at the road if they are looking down at their food.

In the United States, nine people die every day in collisions where a distracted driver is allegedly at fault.

In 2019, distracted driving accidents caused approximately 3,100 fatalities and 424,000 injuries in the United States.

One in five victims of distracted driving accidents in 2019 was not riding in a car; instead, they were walking, riding bikes, or in some other kind of non-motorized transportation.

The Effects of Eating while Driving


Eating while driving may be regarded as a negligent act because it is distracting. This implies that a driver who causes a collision while being distracted by food may be held accountable for the accident’s consequences. You might be able to demonstrate carelessness if you can show the at-fault driver was eating at the time the collision occurred.


According to studies, distracted driving accounts for 80% of collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating while driving causes major problems for drivers since it prevents them from responding to road conditions because their hands and minds are too busy with food.

Tips to Avoid Eating while Driving

  1. Before you depart, eat. Another choice is to make a lovely halt and eat your meal while admiring the stunning scenery.
  2. Do not store food in your car. If you must bring food while driving, put it in the back seat, far from your hands, to prevent you from stopping for a snack while driving down the motorway.
  3. Consume your food while parked
  4. Use a proper cup if you need a drink with you on a lengthy drive to stay hydrated.  Stopping to drink is also a good option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Eating While Driving

Is Eating a Distraction whileDriving?

Eating while driving poses risks similar to those posed by texting and driving. When pondering what is most distracting while driving, many individuals don’t consider eating.

Why do People Eat While Driving?

Nowadays, no one has time to sit down and eat since they are in such a rush to get to work, school, or run errands. Some people, however, attempt to multitask by including food throughout their commute. While eating while driving is a form of distracted driving, which you should never do, it could seem like a fantastic, time-saving idea.


If you or a loved one have been an accident victim due to eating while driving, contact Coluccio Law today.

We would like to assist you with your case of distraction due to negligence while eating behind the wheel.

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