Various laws in the USA are made for irresponsible driving. Most of them are about drinking and driving. But is it illegal to eat and drive too? This question is the trickiest one, as little information is available about it.
As the laws worldwide are getting stricter on driving, it becomes essential to shed some light on what Florida law books say about eating and driving.
Is Eating While Driving Considered Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving means when a person is driving while performing other tasks, for example, using mobile phones and driving a car. Due to this, the driver will not be able to focus on driving and may end up hurting himself or the passengers. Therefore, one can be held liable if you are not paying attention on the road.
Eating while driving can also be included under distracted driving.
Although no law states that eating while driving is illegal, it can be considered a distracting activity. If you are having, let’s say, a juicy sandwich or burger, the mess that is made while eating it can easily distract anyone. That’s why it is highly recommended to avoid eating while driving.
What Are the Florida Traffic Laws When Eating While Driving?
Eating while driving often leads to recklessness which can expose the driver to jail time. Reckless driving takes place when a driver willfully tries to engage in any activity while actively handling a vehicle. The person, in reality, disregards his and the safety of others.
In the end, if you get caught and taken to court, the judge will decide by looking at all the available facts. For example, eating while driving is not an issue and won’t constitute a wonton disregard.
So, when the question comes whether it is illegal to eat and drive or not, the answer is no.
But eating while driving might showcase some willful or wanton disregard, especially when:
- Eating and driving when there is heavy traffic
- Eating and driving around the school zone
- Driving while being intoxicated
The above situations require some additional care and attention while driving. The safety of others is under the radar when you eat while going. Under US law, the first conviction of reckless driving can give one a jail time of up to 90 days.
In case there is any damage to the property or a minor injury due to reckless driving, the driver can land in jail for at least one year. If there was a severe injury, the driver could go to jail for five years.
Prosecutors can charge the driver with reckless driving and vehicular homicide if somebody is killed. In a few cases, the conviction for vehicular homicide can put one in state prison for up to 15 years.
What are the Florida Criminal Laws When Eating While Driving?
The Florida Criminal laws do not state eating while driving as illegal. But it prohibits distracted or reckless driving. So although the law applies to distractions to electronic devices, still, if due to eating, any accident was caused and there was any damage to the limb or property, you can be held liable under Florida’s careless driving laws.
In careless driving, the cause can be anything like dozing off while driving, goofing around, or eating. But, unfortunately, the officer will not consider the reason while writing you off the careless driving.
So, when it comes to whether it is illegal to eat and drive in Florida, there is no law specifically designed for it. But careless driving at any point in time, even while eating, will be considered an offense.
In case you get convicted of careless driving, a fine of $60 will be levied upon you, and three points get added to your driving record. But there will be no jail time for such a situation.
How to Avoid Eating and Driving?
Eating while driving might not sound dangerous, but it can lead to situations that can be life-threatening. Here are a few tips that one can follow to avoid eating and driving:
Keep the Food Way: When you see the food around you, the temptation to snack a little cannot be avoided easily. So it’s better to keep the food away from the car to reduce that temptation and have a joyful and carefree riding experience.
Munch in Before Leaving: Make sure to get up a little early and fill in your stomach. Eating while driving in a hurry might seem time-saving, but in reality, it is neither enjoyable nor saves much of anybody’s time. So please take a few extra minutes every day for your meal and enjoy it.
By opting for these few ways, you can easily save yourself from any reckless driving accident.
How Can Coleman Law Group Help You?
Eating and driving are two activities that can be done in various ways. Driving requires a lot of attention, and eating is a joyful activity. Mixing both can take away all the joy and lead to accidents if attention is not paid.
There is no law against eating while driving in the United States. Though every year, hundreds of people suffer from severe injuries and sometimes lose their loved ones. Therefore, a few restrictions are being imposed to ensure no accidents occur due to reckless driving.
If you need help and want to learn more about your injury case Coleman Law Group is here. Our experienced Personal Injury Lawyer will provide you with proper guidance and ensure that justice is served.
To know more about how to handle distracted driving cases, visit the Coleman Law Group website today.