There’s been a lot of press this year about the dangers of motorists using their cellphones or texting while driving, with Oprah Winfrey even taking up the crusade.
But we should remember that our full attention should always be on the road when we’re behind the wheel. And texting isn’t the only distraction than can lead to an accident. Eating while driving is another one.
For example, do you scarf down a quick McMuffin when you’re late and driving to work, or do you like to snack while taking long trips during family vacations in the summer? And should a truck driver manning a tractor-trailer, a potentially lethal weapon, be eating while driving?
Edward Sutherland found out the hard way that’s it’s not very smart to be chowing down food when you are at the helm of a big rig. Sutherland, 42, was driving a FedEx tractor-trailer Monday in Washington State near the Canadian border, and noshing on spicy pork rinds at the same time, according to the Associated Press.
Sutherland suddenly started choking on the pork rinds. He lost control of his rig on Interstate 5, and swerved over a median from a southbound lane to a northbound lane. The truck jackknifed and landed in a ditch.
Miraculously, Sutherland’s rig didn’t hit any other vehicles and he only sustained minor injuiries. But he will be charged with “driving with wheels off the roadway.”
But here is the obvious lesson to be learned: Don’t eat while driving. It is not only a potential distraction, but you could also choke doing it.
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
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