Is it legal to do this activity while eating?
I think it’s something most of us have done. We’re in a hurry and we’re hungry, but we don’t have time to stop and eat. We pick up some fast food for that drive from Pittsfield to Springfield or Boston, and eat it in the car on the way. If you’re like me, you have ketchup fall into your lap, staining your clothes, and making you more stressed than you already are.
I did something similar as my wife and I were driving around this past weekend. And, as I was chomping down on my cheeseburger while driving, it got me thinking…is this legal in Massachusetts?
Can you eat and drive in Massachusetts?
The answer is…it’s not illegal to do so.
While we do have a hands-free driving law in effect, that law is mainly for distracted driving when it comes to texts, calling, or any other hands on-activities with your phone or GPS.
There’s nothing explicitly stating that you can’t eat and drive at the same time here in Massachusetts.
So, will a police officer pull you over? Probably not, but the emphasis is on probably. You could still get a moving citation for being distracted, or if you’re going over the speed limit, it’s a good reason to pull you over.
To be fair, I was being as safe as I could be, and my wife was holding my food until I wanted to take a bit. That said, I still probably shouldn’t have done it. Anything distracting, from eating to having pets in the car, to even talking with a passenger can distract you from the road, and ultimately, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
So, while nothing in Massachusetts explicitly states you can’t eat while driving, it doesn’t mean you should eat while driving.