Imagine you are in your car driving through Atlanta traffic. As you sit there, you get distracted and take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road to do something. You are so focused on completing that little task that you don’t notice traffic has come to a stop in front of you and you slam into the back of another person’s car.
You might assume that we are using this imaginary scenario to discuss the dangers of texting while driving. However, that is not the case. We are actually discussing a situation involving a driver distracted by eating.
Drivers all across the U.S. eat while driving. It seems like an obvious way to multi-task, especially for people who don’t have the time to pull over and stop to eat a snack or meal. However, it can still be very dangerous; especially if you are operating a bus or other commercial-sized vehicle.
Recently, this very situation played out in another state. Cameras on a bus recorded a bus driver eating while driving. You can clearly see the driver take his eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to eat. In those few seconds when he was not paying attention, the traffic in front of the bus came to a stop and he crashed into the back of one car which created a chain of collisions.
Some people think that this behavior of eating while driving is not cause for concern, as people seem to do it all the time.
However, the fact is that commercial drivers are expected to avoid distractions while driving. Further, in order to keep drivers and other safe, bus companies and transit agencies typically give drivers breaks before, during and/or after a shift so they can eat, make a phone call or rest so they do not get distracted while driving.
Thankfully in this case, no one appears to be seriously injured. In other situations, victims of a crash may not be so lucky. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted bus driver, it can be crucial to discuss your legal options with an attorney.
Source: KOB.com, “Burrito-eating bus driver had 4 hours off before crash,” Ryan Luby, Sept. 17, 2015