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Should eating behind the wheel be banned?

We're very conscious of distracted driving these days, but that typically just means cellphone use. There are other serious distractions, though, such as trying to eat while driving. Does that mean hitting up the drive-thru and then eating your hamburger on the road should be illegal?

This has sparked a lot of debate over the years. In some places, like Sonoma County in California, you can get a ticket for distracted driving if you're eating behind the wheel. This is typically given out if there is another violation. If you run a red light, for instance, and the police pull you over and find out you didn't see the red because you were eating, you could get a ticket both for being distracted and for the signal violation. A similar law is on the books in Huron, South Dakota.

This has been spreading around the country, as laws have been considered at the city and county level in various places, and even some states -- such as Ohio -- have mulled it over.

On the whole, though, eating and driving is still not illegal in its own right, the way texting and driving has been outlawed in Tennessee. This change could still be coming in the future, though, as more and more research suggests that all distractions, and not just cellphones, are dangerous.

If a distracted driver ran into your vehicle and you were injured, you may be able to seek financial compensation. This is true regardless of criminal charges, which may or may not be brought by the authorities.

Source: Gas Buddy, "Should 'eating while driving' be illegal?," Gregg Laskoski, accessed Nov. 17, 2016

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