Is It Illegal to Eat While Driving in Florida?

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Given the number of available drive-thru food options for commuters, we often hear the question: Is it illegal to eat and drive in Florida? Currently, no state in the U.S. has a law that prohibits explicitly eating while driving.

So technically, it is not illegal to eat while driving in Florida. However, distracted driving laws and local law enforcement could potentially issue a ticket to someone if they were driving recklessly or carelessly due to the distraction of eating. For example, if a driver was reaching over to the passenger seat to eat food while driving and the vehicle swerved and hit another vehicle, this could be considered careless driving.

If you suspect someone was eating while driving and caused your accident, a personal injury claim may be made to seek fair compensation. Contact JustCallMoe to request a consultation with a Florida car accident lawyer.

Should People Eat and Drive?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identifies eating while driving as one of the most common ways of distracting motorists. A motorist can still be liable for damage or harm caused by distraction from eating while driving.

It’s important to understand that the behavior may not be illegal, but can still be hazardous and endanger other motorists.

Is It Against the Law to Eat and Drive?

While Florida law does have a law that prohibits eating while driving, careless driving laws are still applicable. A traffic officer can give a driver a ticket for failing to drive prudently and carefully and endangering life, limb, and property.

Can a police officer pull someone over for eating while driving?

A police officer cannot pull a driver over for eating while operating their vehicle, but they can pull somebody over for erratic and dangerous driving caused by the distraction of eating while driving.

What Amounts to Distracted Driving in Florida?

Distracted driving is defined as driving that is considered risky and endangering other motorists and road users. Florida has a law that prohibits distracted driving, which is most commonly used for texting while driving offenses.

The following three types of distractions are considered to impair the ability to drive safely:

  • Visual distractions: Taking eyes off the road
  • Manual distractions: Taking hands off the steering wheel
  • Cognitive distractions: Having focus deviate from driving

Why Is Eating While Driving Dangerous?

Eating while driving is hazardous because it hampers someone’s concentration and increases their chances of swerving and not noticing road hazards. Specifically, food can interfere with a driver in the following ways:

  • Spilling a meal or drink all over while driving
  • Choking on a bite
  • Eating and drinking something nauseating while driving
  • Burning oneself from sipping from a hot cup

Contact a Car Accident Attorney at JustCallMoe in Florida

Have you been involved in a car accident in Florida because another motorist was eating while driving? A skilled attorney can advise you and help you prove your case for compensation. Contact us at JustCallMoe to schedule a consultation today.

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