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We've all been guilty of distracted driving before. Whether it's talking on the phone, texting and driving, or yelling at the kids in the backseat, there's a lot more than just driving going on in most vehicles. I blame it on the fact that our lives are busier than ever post-pandemic. Between all of our commitments, our vehicles have turned into our second homes.

It's not unusual for a parent to feed their family a drive-thru dinner in the car on the way to little Johnny's ball game. Nor is it unusual for someone to grab a burger on the way to their next meeting. But does that make you a criminal?

Is eating while you're driving legal in Louisiana?

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission describes distracted driving as 'any activity that takes a driver’s mind off of the task of driving, hands off the steering wheel, or eyes off the road is considered a distraction.' Clearly, eating while you drive is a form of distracted driving, but is it illegal? Most of Louisiana's distracted driving laws are in regard to texting and driving and handheld cell phone use. Currently, there are NO laws on the books prohibiting eating while driving in Louisiana.

A police office on the side of the road as he writes a ticket.
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According to TrustedChoice.com, these are the things prohibited by Louisiana distracted driving laws.

  • Reading, writing or sending text messages

  • The use of social media

  • Drivers under the age of 16 are not permitted to use wireless devices, even if hands-free.

  • The use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices is prohibited in active school zones.

  • Cell phone use is prohibited for drivers under the age of 18, drivers with learner’s permits, and new drivers of any age for one year after receiving their license.

In short, while eating and driving isn't illegal in Louisiana, it's still distracted driving. Keep this in mind next time you reach for a french fry in the fast food bag on your passenger seat while trying to open that ketchup packet going 70 mph down I-49... Lytx.com reports that, 'Drivers with food or drink distractions are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who do not eat and drink while driving.' Now that's food for thought!

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