Here's a question that hungry commuters may want answered: Is it legal to eat and drive?
It may seem like a silly question, given the number of drive-thru food options available. But with distracted driving laws on the books nationwide, can eating while driving technically be considered unlawful?
So far, there's no law that explicitly bans the act of "eating" behind the wheel. However, because of the way distracted driving laws are worded, local law enforcement could potentially determine that shoveling a muffin in your mouth while maneuvering through traffic is enough to warrant a ticket.
What's Considered Distracted Driving?
However, under most distracted driving laws, police can actually pull you over for engaging in any activity that prevents you from driving safely. This can include applying makeup while driving, cuddling with your dog while driving, or even eating while driving.
Here are some examples to chew over:
Avoiding Distracted Driving
It's easy to see how eating and driving can become a distraction -- dripping sauces, bad packaging, poor hand-to-mouth coordination, and hot temperatures can cause you to shift your focus from the road. It has happened before: In one case, a commercial truck driver choked on spicy pork rinds and lost control of his vehicle; luckily, he suffered only minor injuries and did not hit any other vehicles.
Since every state has different rules regarding whether it's legal to eat and drive, check your local laws or talk to your friendly neighborhood traffic ticket lawyer so you can avoid a citation.