Is it legal to eat while driving in Washington?

We have all been there. After picking up food from your favorite fast food service, you immediately rummage through the bag for the delicious hot items. Ah, that first taste, is so satisfying. So the question:

Is it legal to eat while driving in Washington?

I imagine so. Drive-thru windows are available at almost any fast food restaurant. What about all the cafes? These drive-thru lines are crazy!

Heck, I bet most of the sales are made through road traffic. And anyone who has a schedule to reach their destination on time uses drive-thru and consumes their meal on the road.

After investigation, here is what we found:

There are NOPE specific rules for food consumption while driving in Washington. However, drivers can be heavily fined if it distracts them or affects their control, affecting the safety of the car. You can indeed enjoy your hot coffee and eat your meal while driving in Washington.

However, there are laws against dangerous driving that could come into play if you drive erratically or if eating while driving results in an accident or injury.

WA Distracted Driving Law entered into force in 2017

The law prohibits the use of cell phones. This makes NOT prohibit eating in your vehicle. However, officers are allowed to cite a driver if their actions are considered distracted driving. Eating, grooming, reading and smoking while driving can lead to a ticket if the activity causes dangerous driving and the driver is stopped for another violation, such as speeding or erratic driving.

So think twice before trying to open the packet of ketchup to dip your fries in.

Washington Distracted Driving Law is explained in the video below from the WA Traffic Safety Commission.

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