New distracted driving bill could ban drinking, eating, and more while driving
While 46 states currently ban text messaging while driving, other forms of distracted driving are still technically not illegal. In fact, over 70% of respondents in a recent survey admitted to eating while driving. Even more prevalent was drinking (non-alcoholic drinks) while driving, at 83%. However, this may be changing soon. In Maine, lawmakers have passed a bill that fines drivers up to $500 for distracted driving. The New Jersey legislature is considering a similar law in response to a study that shows about half of accidents in New Jersey involve distracted driving. The New Jersey law would prohibit drivers from doing anything "unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle," including drinking, eating, using a navigation system, talking to passengers, putting on makeup, watching a video, or reading a map or book. In other words, that morning cup of coffee on the way to work would have to wait until you reach your destination. While these behaviors seem innocent enough, anything that takes the driver’s focus off the road poses an immediate danger to passengers and other motorists.