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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Is It Illegal to Eat and Drive in Iowa? | Understanding the State Laws

Is eating while driving illegal in Iowa? Can a driver be responsible for any damages caused due to their eating habits while operating a vehicle?


According to The Zebra, an insurance comparison site, in a recent survey, 56% of Americans admitted to eating while driving. Although it may seem harmless to smash a McDonald's burger while operating a vehicle, there may be consequences that can adversely impact the driver's life.


Eating while operating a vehicle could be a form of distracted driving, leading to accidents. Those who have suffered injuries due to another's negligence in Des Moines, Iowa, should reach out to the auto accident attorneys in Des Moines at Tom Fowler Law to learn more about their rights.


Is It Illegal to Eat and Drive in Des Moines, Iowa?

Is It Illegal to Eat and Drive in Des Moines, Iowa?


There is no specific law that prevents drivers from eating behind the wheel in all 50 states, including Iowa.


However, that doesn't mean that people should keep on snacking while operating a motor vehicle. In fact, eating while driving could have serious repercussions for the driver despite being completely legal.


Should Drivers in Iowa Eat While Behind the Wheel?


Under the law, drivers must be attentive at all times and ensure that they've got their eyes on the road. It is the duty of every person behind the wheel to follow the traffic rules and practice defensive driving. This can reduce the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of the vehicle operator and others around them.


A police officer may view eating while driving as an act of distracted driving. Iowa has distracted driving laws in place that every driver must follow to ensure that they're on the safe side of the law.

If a law enforcement officer believes that the driver's eating behind the wheel is creating a risk for the other road users, they may pull them over and give them a citation.


Eating while driving can lead to hefty fines that the driver must pay off. Depending on the situation, the person behind the wheel might get points on their license, which can drive their car insurance premium upwards.


Can a Driver Get Their License Suspended for Eating While Driving in Iowa?


There are certain situations where a driver may have their license suspended in Iowa. Although eating while driving could lead to fines, it may be possible for a police officer to revoke one's license.


Suppose a driver is eating behind the wheel and ends up in a car accident that injures another road user. Under such circumstances, the distracted driving law may hold the negligent driver accountable for the damages and also have their license revoked.


Can a Driver Drive with an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage in Iowa?


Under the open container laws in Iowa, drivers cannot drive with open containers of alcoholic beverages in their cars (including the passenger area and the glove compartment). It's essential to know the rules of the state to avoid getting into trouble with law enforcement officers.


In Iowa, a driver can land in hot waters if they're caught with an open container of alcoholic beverage. Although it is a simple misdemeanor, the offender could end up in jail for up to 30 days and may have to pay a fine (up to $200).


Distracted Driving Statistics in the United States


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 3,000 people die each year in the United States due to distracted drivers. That's around 8% of all fatal motor vehicle collisions in the country.


Applying makeup, talking on the cell phone, tuning the radio, and eating while behind the wheel are a few examples of distracted driving. Tom Fowler Law can also help with questions such as is it illegal to drive without a shirt?


Why Is Eating While Driving Dangerous?

The increase in the number of fast food chains across Iowa has changed the eating habits of residents across the state.


Most people go through drive-thrus to grab their favorite meals before hitting the road. While driving, they end up eating behind the wheel, which can be extremely dangerous, as it could increase the risk of car accidents.


When a driver is eating or drinking while driving, they only have one hand on the steering wheel. At the same time, they're paying more attention to their meal rather than the road. If there is an obstacle or hazard, they may be unable to avoid it, resulting in an accident. Tom Fowler Law can also help with answering is it illegal to drive with flip flops?


Who Is Responsible for a Car Accident Due to Distracted Driving?


With their eyes off the road, a driver is more likely to miss hazards, changes in traffic flow, and warning signs. When that happens, it could increase the risk of a car accident.


Under the distracted driving laws in Iowa, a distracted driver may be responsible for the damages caused due to their negligence. Although it is not illegal to eat while operating a vehicle, it could lead to civil liability in case of an accident.


Every driver has a duty of care towards the other road users, which is why they must adhere to all of the state's driving laws. Failure to follow the traffic rules is a breach of their duty of care, which holds them civilly liable in case of any accidents.


How to Avoid Eating and Driving

How to Avoid Eating and Driving


Distracted driving could result in accidents, severely injuring the driver and other road users. In worse cases, it could lead to death.


Although it may seem easy to avoid eating while driving, the number of drive-thrus in Iowa has made it challenging. Whether it's gulping down a bowl of hot soup or munching on some fries, the drivers need to pull up in a safe place before having a bite to eat.


Alternatively, drivers can adjust their schedules accordingly so that they're able to consume a meal or eat a snack before hitting the road. That way, they won't have the urge to grab something to munch on while driving.


The Team at Tom Fowler Law Can Help the Injured Victims in Des Moines!


Those who have suffered injuries due to another's distracted driving in Des Moines, Iowa, should call for a free case evaluation with an experienced personal injury attorney at Tom Fowler Law. They can help assess the case and guide the injured victim on their legal options.

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