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Bradenton Injury Lawyer > Blog > Distracted Driving Accident > Can You Eat While Driving in Florida?

Can You Eat While Driving in Florida?


It’s not always easy to get a meal at home before it’s time to go to work, appointments, or run other errands. Because of this, many Florida residents may eat in the car while driving. They may eat snacks while behind the wheel or grab fast food from a drive-thru.

In any case, some people may think that eating is a distraction while driving. But is it illegal in Florida?

Florida does not prohibit eating while driving, so you won’t get pulled over for gulping down a breakfast burrito before work or snacking on some chips in between meals. However, it’s possible that eating while driving could cause you to be distracted. While peeling the wrapper off your burger, you may veer into oncoming traffic. You may drive off the road. You could cause an accident or even injure or kill someone.

When people think of distractions, they may think of cellphone usage. However, according to the Florida Department of Transportation, activities such as eating, talking to passengers, dealing with children, reading, adjusting the radio, and being fatigued or drowsy can be equally as distracting. While these activities are not technically illegal, you can still get in legal hot water if you are pulled over for careless or reckless driving.

  • Careless driving. If eating while behind the wheel causes you to drive dangerously in any way, such as swerve or speed, you can be cited for a moving violation.
  • Reckless driving. If you are distracted by the food in question and cause an accident, you could be charged with reckless driving. Under Florida law, reckless driving refers to operating a vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

If convicted of either of these violations, you could face up to 90 days in jail or a $500 fine. That is for a first offense. You can face six months in jail or a $1,000 fine if you are convicted of a subsequent offense.

Preventing Distractions 

Here are some ways to prevent distractions:

  • Legislation and enforcement. Many states have implemented laws banning texting and hand-held phone use while driving. For example, in Florida, a person may not use a wireless communications device while driving, This includes texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.
  • Technological solutions. Some technologies can help reduce distracted driving. For example, there are apps that block incoming texts and calls while driving as well as vehicle systems that disable certain functions when the car is in motion.
  • Personal responsibility. Drivers should make a conscious effort to minimize distractions. This includes setting up GPS routes before driving, keeping phones out of reach, and focusing on driving.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

It’s important to stay alert while driving. While it’s not technically illegal to eat while driving, eating could cause you to drive erratically or even cause an accident.

A Bradenton distracted driving accident lawyer from Cahall Law Firm can help you prove liability. We’ll make sure you receive compensation for all your injuries. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (941) 281-2019.



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