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Is Eating in the Car a Form of Distracted Driving?

A recent case in Cobb County where an Alabama man was given a traffic citation for eating a hamburger while driving highlights the variety of activities that can provide a basis for an allegation of driving while distracted. According to the Cobb County Solicitor, drivers have also been ticketed for applying makeup and reading the newspaper while behind the wheel. In each case, the violation is not based on the specific action. Instead, officers typically look to issue citations to drivers engaging in a distracting action which causes the vehicle to be operated in an unsafe manner. The usual manifestations are improper lane changes and weaving in an out of lanes.

In some cases these activities, although endless in description, can lead drivers to cause car accidents on the interstates and highways. Taking the eyes off of the roadway for five seconds can cause a distraction that cannot be recovered from.