Eating and also driving has end up being such a common practice that countless California drivers don’t think twice prior to stopping at a drive-thru and also eating breakfast or lunch behind the wheel. Yet California’s distracted driving regulations may lead to tickets and also citations for civilization who eat and also drive. Eating is a type of driver distraction – something that brought about at the very least 3,450 deaths in 2016. Prior to you take the In-N-Out burger come go, think around the potential aftermath of eating and also driving in California.

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Does California’s Distracted Driving regulation Pertain come Food?

Eating and drinking space two significant forms of driver distraction, according to the national Highway traffic Safety administration (NHTSA) and also are the cause of a staggering variety of vehicle accidents. California lawmakers have actually made initiatives to minimize the price of distracted driving, mostly in the type of cell phone laws. Section 23123.5 the the California vehicle Code makes it versus the law to drive while holding and also operating a handheld mobile or other “electronic wireless interactions device.” Hands-free device use is legal in California.

Violating the handheld phone legislation in California can an outcome in a fine of $20 because that a first offense and $50 for succeeding offenses. Back the most common form of driver distraction is mobile use, eating, drinking, chatting with passengers, and personal grooming are additionally dangerous. Distraction have the right to reference the occupation the a driver’s attention, hands, or eye on something various other than driving.


Although there is no California law clearly prohibiting eat while driving, police can cite related regulations to ticket distracted drivers.

California automobile Code section 22350, because that example, states no human being may drive a vehicle at a speed that threatens the safety of others. Police officers may be able to use this straightforward speed regulation to ticket a distracted driver that was exceeding the rate limit while eating behind the wheel. Numerous officers mention this statute to ticket reckless drivers who endanger the security of others. If a California police officer sees friend eating and driving, the is possible that you might receive a traffic ticket. However, the distinction between what girlfriend can and also cannot perform safely behind the wheel is spatu according to the situation.

Drawing the Distracted steering Line

Just the plot of eating and also driving may not constitute a reason for a traffic ticket if the driver have the right to safely stay in regulate of the vehicle. The officer have to have one more reason to cite the driver, such together speeding or reckless driving. To ticket or no to ticket is mostly up to the officer’s belief of whether the driver in question deserve to safely multitask. If a driver is eating yet paying strict attention to the road, maintaining his/her hand on the wheel, and driving safely, an officer may not have actually grounds to command a website traffic stop.

In general, motorists are better off waiting until they gain home to eat. Also if a driver believes he or she deserve to safely eat and drive, odds room the meal will take at the very least some of the driver’s fist from the roadway. A driver will must take at least one hand turn off the wheel come grab a bite, and also possibly the eyes off the road. Control in California requires 100% the a driver’s attention. Otherwise, a distracted driver might not be able to react to transforming roadway situations in time to prevent collisions.

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There might not be an exact law versus eating and also driving in California, but that doesn’t mean you won’t acquire in trouble. You can get a ticket and a $150 good if eat interferes v your capability to journey safely. If you reason an accident while eat behind the wheel, you might be liable for damages. Your insurance premium can increase and you could even receive points on your license. Save yourself and others safe – don’t eat and drive.

If you or a love one was hurt in a motor automobile accident because of distracted driving, call the Los Angeles auto accident attorneys at Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP today around your case! (310) 477-1700