Children: Most Dangerous Driver Distraction

If there’s one thing we all know about driving, it’s that we need to pay attention to the road.  We need to look and be cautious when braking, merging and turning.  With that being said, it makes sense as to why parents oftentimes get distracted from the traffic around them.  When traveling with a child in the vehicle, parents are much more likely to get distracted by their children than if they were to use a cell phone in the driver’s seat.

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According to a recent study from the Monash University Accident Research Center, parents are at serious risks for distracted driving car accidents when traveling with children.  As a matter of fact, they’re 12 times more likely to get into an accident, the study reports.

Our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers understand that dealing with passengers is one of the most frequently reported causes of distraction.  Energetic teens and young children can be particularly distracting, especially to inexperienced, young drivers.  Managing children and infants also required special attention for more experienced, adult drivers.  Researchers report that kids are four times more distracting than adults as passengers, and infants are eight times more distracting, according to Medical Daily.

Researchers with AAA wanted to know just how distracted young passengers could be, so they installed cameras into the vehicles of a dozen families and monitored them for three weeks.  They found that talking on the phone only accounted for one percent of distractions.  The distractions cause by children accounted for over 10 percent of all of the distractions observed.  Over the course of a 16-minute car ride, parents that had children in the vehicle spent an average of 3 minutes and 22 seconds with their eyes not on the road.

Most Common Child-Caused Distraction for Parents:

-Turning around in their seat.

-Looking in the rear view mirror.

-Engaging in conversation.

-Reaching into the back seat.

-Playing with the child.

Of the 92 trips observed in this three-week period, these distractions occurred in 90 of the cases.  The presence of a passenger in the front seat showed no difference in distraction level.

Your best bet for riding with children is to make sure they are secure before you start your car ride. If they need your attention, pull off the road safely to care for them. Reaching into the backseat can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.  Remember that long trips, especially in hot weather, can be stressful and uncomfortable for kids. Consider traveling during the cooler hours of the day.  Fit shades to car windows to protect from direct sun, and make sure children drink enough fluids.

Make sure that the passenger area of the car is clutter free. Many drivers overlook this, but it is very important. In an accident, or even close call, stuff can fly around. This can injure kids, quite seriously if the item is big enough. Any excess stuff should be put in the trunk.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact Hollander Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.  888-751-7777. There is no fee unless we win.