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Is eating while driving leading to car accidents in California?

Many residents of Los Angeles have likely heard about the dangers involved in texting and driving. This type of distracted driving has been a hot topic in the news lately. However, texting and driving is not the only type of dangerous driving that can lead to car accidents. Recent studies show that another distraction has become a large concern on California roads: eating while driving.

According to experts, eating while driving can increase the chances of becoming involved in a car accident by 80 percent. This is becoming a large concern in Los Angeles given the busy and traffic-filled the nature of its roadways. According to one man that works in Los Angeles, spending so much time in traffic has turned his vehicle into his own person dining room. This could spell trouble for other California motorists.

According to the California Highway Patrol, one reasons eating and driving is so dangerous is a driver's slow reaction time when they spill something in their car. Their immediate reaction is to stop everything they're doing, such as holding onto the steering wheel, just to clean up the mess. This reaction can very easily cause a tragic accident.

Although eating while driving is not illegal, it is still considered distracted driving and a driver who engages in such activity may be cited and fined for their negligent behavior. In California, a distracted driver may face a monetary fine of anywhere from $100-$500, or even more.

When a California resident is involved in an accident that is caused by a distracted driver and they suffer an injury, they may be entitled to compensation. This compensation may be recovered through a personal injury lawsuit if one of the involved parties is determined to have negligently contributed to the occurrence of the accident. Often, this compensation covers medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Eating While Driving Significantly Increases Chances Of A Car Accident, Experts Say," Nov. 11, 2013

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