Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP
Treating California’s Injured With Dignity And Respect

Can my morning coffee cause a car crash?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2023 | Car Accidents

Across the city streets and highways of the United States, drivers get behind the wheel and assume they can safely multitask while on the road. This could mean having breakfast on the way to school or munching on dinner on the way home after a long shift at work. But while this might seem like an efficient practice, eating or drinking while driving can quickly become a distraction.

How your bag of chips can distract you

When a driver takes a sip of coffee or reaches into the passenger seat to grab a chip, it can lead to a deadly distraction, such as:

  • Manual distractions: Acts like adjusting the vehicle’s navigation or audio system or simply reaching for a travel mug full of coffee are examples of manual distractions. When the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel, they lose the ability to quickly react to and navigate around danger.
  • Visual distraction: These are activities that force the driver to look away from the road. This could be looking into the passenger seat to pick their next bite of food or looking into the center console to grab their mug of coffee. Additionally, food items tend to splash and spill causing the distracted driver to look away from the road to the mess.
  • Cognitive distraction: While these are more challenging to quantify, any activity that pulls a driver’s mind from the action of safely navigating the road becomes a cognitive distraction. This could be thinking about their next bite of food, whether they have enough coffee to make it to work or mentally planning where they will grab dinner on the way home. If a driver is not thinking about the road, it is a distraction.

Any action that takes a driver’s attention from the road, eyes from the surroundings or hands from the control surfaces quickly becomes a deadly distraction. Depending on factors such as vehicle size and driving speed, road collisions can lead to devastating injuries such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or amputations. Do not hesitate to learn more about legal options for monetary compensation after a collision caused by a distracted driver.