Louisiana has laws prohibiting texting while driving and uploading images using an electronic device while driving, but it does not currently have a law prohibiting eating while driving. However, eating while driving can be just as dangerous of a distraction as texting while driving. Distracted driving causes thousands of accidents each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,477 people died and 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents during 2015.
If a distracted driver injured you, you have the right to recover compensation. Call 1-800-587-1889 to speak with a New Orleans distracted driving attorney.
How Is Eating While Driving a Distraction?
Most of us have done it. We are running late for work, so we grab something through the drive-thru and eat it on the way to work. We enjoy our cup of coffee or afternoon energy drink while sitting in traffic. We mindless munch on Chex Mix or chips while on a long road trip. How can this innocent act be dangerous?
Anything we do that distracts us from driving can be a potentially dangerous and deadly activity. The CDC defines three types of distraction — manual distractions, visual distractions, and cognitive distractions. As with texting while driving, eating while driving combines the three types of distractions.
While eating, you must use at least one hand to hold your food. Sometimes when opening a package, you use both hands. You take your eyes off the road to open the wrapper or look at the food. Lastly, you are more likely to pay attention to your food than you are to the road while you are eating. Because you are not focused on what is going on outside the vehicle, you may miss the fact that traffic has stopped ahead of you or that you are drifting into another lane. Because of your distraction, you cause a collision, and someone is injured.
Who is Responsible for a Distracted Driving Accident?
When a driver causes an accident because he or she is distracted, that driver is liable for any damages caused by the accident. In most cases, the distraction causes the driver to rear-end another vehicle, swerve into on-coming traffic, fail to yield the right of way, or run a traffic signal. While the distraction itself may not be negligent, the act that results because of the distraction is negligent.
Damages that you may recover compensation for in a distracted driving accident claim include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral damages, in a wrongful death action
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury or your recovery (i.e. travel expenses to and from doctor appointments)
An attorney will assist you in gather the documentation and evidence needed to prove your damages and maximize your recovery. If a distracted driver caused your vehicle accident, call an attorney to discuss your legal rights.
New Orleans Personal Injury Attorneys
Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney. We are here to help you by protecting your legal rights. Our attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis.