By: Allan M. Siegel
An Alabama man was recently cited in Georgia by police for "eating while driving." More specifically the man had been eating a hamburger while driving when he was pulled over by an officer who had been following him for about 2 miles. The man was cited under Georgia's distracted driving law which reads, in part:
"A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle."
Although the prosecutor currently to prosecute the case, he has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that eating the burger negatively affected the man's driving, which could be difficult to do.
While the statute may arguably be vague or overly broad, the citation raises an important point – distracted driving can take many forms, even ones we normally do not associate with it. Most people have seen or heard the campaigns against distracted driving that focus on cellphone use while driving. In fact many states and cities have passed laws and ordinances prohibiting texting or using cellphones while people are driving. And although that may be what we most associate with distracted driving, the reality is that many things we regularly do in the car distract us from what should be our primary focus – what is going on the road around us.
Whether it's eating, or changing the radio, or talking to a passenger, or keeping an eye on the child in the backseat, all of these things distract, yet more often than not we fail to think of the danger or distraction they pose. A water bottle rolls off your passenger seat and without thinking you reach to grab it, taking your eyes of the road and failing to see the car in front of you stopping. The next thing you know, you are slamming on your brakes and bracing for impact.
That example may seem obvious, but car accidents occur as a result of simple distractions like that far more often than they should. The Washington DC car accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel P.C., have years of experience handling cases involving distracted drivers and obtaining just compensation for individuals injured because of it. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of distracted driving, call the personal injury attorneys at CSCS for a free consultation.