There are those who use the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant simply as a way to quickly pick up a meal and head home to eat it. But there are also many people who see fast food as a natural way to get a meal for the road. It could be someone on a road trip buying a hamburger, or it could be an office worker who goes through a drive-through every morning to pick up a cup of coffee.
This feels very normal and people often assume that it’s safe. But is that true? Or is using the drive-thru actually quite dangerous?
Eating, drinking and distracted driving
The problem is that eating and drinking can distract you from driving. A driver who is looking down to pick up their cup of coffee cannot also be watching the road. A driver who is lifting a hamburger to take a bite cannot have both hands on the wheel. That hypothetical driver also blocks their own field of vision while they eat or drink, meaning they’re more likely to overlook pedestrians, traffic signals, other vehicles or any other hazards on the road.
Furthermore, eating and drinking can be dangerous because of spills. Spilling hot coffee or soup could cause a driver to react instinctively to the pain and lose control of the vehicle. Drivers are also advised not to eat foods that are greasy or saucy, which can make it harder to hold onto the steering wheel.
Yet, people still do it every day. Those who have been injured in accidents caused by a driver who was eating or drinking need to know what legal options they have.