Is Driving with Kids More Distracting than Texting while Driving?

By now, we all know how dangerous texting and driving is—but could driving with kids be just as dangerous? The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that child passengers can create four times as many distractions for drivers as adult passengers do. Additionally, infants in a vehicle are nearly eight times as distracting as adult passengers. Moreover, drivers with children in their vehicle can be up to 12 times more distracted than drivers who use cell phones while driving.

Drivers Frequently Turn Around to Check on Kids

According to a study by the Monash University Accident Research Center, during a 16 minute trip, parents take their eyes off the road for three minutes and 22 seconds. Drivers turning around to look at their kids in the back seat accounted for 76% of distractions in the study. This was followed by parents conversing with kids (16% of the distracted time), reaching back to hand children food or drinks (7%) and playing with children (1%). Surprisingly, those drivers who had a front seat passenger were just as distracted as those without.

While the solution for texting while driving is fairly simple—don’t do it—distraction by your children in the car is a bit more complex. Most parents can’t avoid driving with their children, so other solutions are necessary.

Here are 5 ways to avoid distraction when driving with kids:

  1. Set rules so your kids know what to expect while riding in your car. They should know that if they drop something, they cannot expect you to pick it up for them. Also make it clear that you can’t turn around to look at them while you are driving.
  2. If you have to turn around to deal with a situation, pull over to a safe area first. Sure, it’s inconvenient—but it could save you from crashing.
  3. Keep snacks within reach of your children, so you are not tempted to turn around to feed them.
  4. Ensure your children are properly restrained before you take off. The study showed that children were in the correct position in their car seats more than 70% of the time.
  5. Don’t pick up your devices. Your children are distracting enough—don’t add to that danger by allowing yourself to be distracted by your phone too.

“Children are precious cargo, so parents must do everything they can to eliminate distractions while their kids are in the vehicle,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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