The Surprising Truth About Parents and Distracted Driving
What’s the biggest distraction in your car? Is it the phone? The radio? The GPS? Or, is it your children?
A 2014 study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that children are a major distraction when parents are driving. If you are a mom, you know this is true. Keeping small children happy in the car can be a big challenge.
Do you give snacks to your child while behind the wheel? Pick up fallen toys? Change the DVD? You aren’t alone.
In one test, more than seventy percent of parents turned around to look at children in the back seat during a sixteen minute drive. This resulted in an average of 3 minutes and 22 seconds when the parent’s eyes were off the road. Overall, children were twelve times more distracting than cell phones.
While you can turn off your cell phone, you can’t turn off your children. What can you do to stay safe when your kids are in the car?
Tips for Avoiding Distraction When Driving with Children
- Buckle your child up in a safety seat appropriate for her age and weight.
- Give yourself extra time to reach your destination. Know that delays such as meltdowns, missing bunnies, and diaper blowouts are inevitable. Plan accordingly.
- If you are driving a long distance, bring another adult. One adult can take care of the children, so the driver can focus on the road.
- Keep special toys in the car that can be used when traveling. These toys should be soft and lightweight, so they don’t cause injury in an accident.
- Provide snacks during long trips. Use a snack holder with a strap and no-spill lid to avoid tantrums caused by dropped snacks.
- If your child won’t stop screaming, pull over. Don’t turn around to soothe your child while you are driving.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Never leave your child alone in the car.
Your Driving Habits Matter
In 2012, Safe Kids Worldwide and American Baby magazine surveyed 2,396 mothers with children under the age of two. Most of the mothers claimed that are safer drivers since giving birth, but their habits say otherwise.
- 78 % of the mothers had talked on the phone while driving with their babies
- 26% had texted or checked their email
- 55% admitted to driving over the speed limit with their baby in the car
- 64% had turned around to tend to a child while driving
- Almost all moms were sleep deprived
One out of every ten of the new mothers surveyed had been in an accident with her child. This accident rate is similar to that for newly-licensed teen drivers.
Ostroff Injury Law is Here for You
Ostroff Injury Law is dedicated to helping both adults and children who are injured in Pennsylvania traffic accidents. We fight to get each of our clients the fair insurance compensation they deserve. Call us at 800-818-8148 to schedule your free consultation