Distracted driving is a topic of serious and widespread concern. Public information campaigns abound to discourage texting, emailing, playing games on a mobile device, or talking on a cell phone while driving. In most states, including New York, some or all of these activities are illegal. However, statutes and ordinances tend to focus on the use of mobile devices.
Last year, a bill was introduced in the New Jersey legislature that provided in part that:
An operator of a moving motor vehicle shall not engage in any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle on a public road or highway.
Only a handful of states have such a comprehensive prohibition on distracted driving, and the New Jersey bill immediately became highly controversial. Much of the controversy centered around coffee, with citizens and the media talking about the large fines that could apply to drivers who enjoyed a cup of coffee on their morning commutes and government representatives wondering aloud how discussion of a comprehensive bill to cut back on nyc distracted driving accident lawyers had become all about coffee.
Data, however, suggests that maybe the conversation should be all about coffee.
Most of us drink coffee or other beverages on the road—about 83%, according to an Exxon Mobile study. And, most of the time, we don’t get in accidents. That makes it easy to shrug off the risk, as many did when the “coffee law” was proposed in New Jersey. However, these statistics may give you second thoughts.
Though eating and drinking behind the wheel generally create a risk, NHTSA ranked some of the most dangerous foods and drinks to indulge in on the road…and coffee took the number one spot.
Though it isn’t specifically against the law to sip a cup of coffee or munch on a burger in traffic, any type of distracted driving may give rise to a negligence suit. If you’ve been injured in a car accident with a driver who was eating or drinking at the time of the crash, or have lost a loved one to a driver distracted by food or drink, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Rebuilding after a serious accident can be challenging. The last thing you need is to add worries about insurance companies and legal technicalities. We can help. Just fill out the contact form on this page, or call 212-732-2929 to schedule your free consultation.