When we talk about distracted driving, the focus is almost always on texting while driving. The truth is that for many parents, the biggest driving distraction is their children. Parents must be patient and careful to avoid becoming dangerously distracted by their children.
A research company in Australia studied this issue and found some surprising information both on how many parents are affected and the best way to stop it. Keep reading to learn more. If you are injured in a car accident, please contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 602-340-0030 for a free legal consultation.
Learn about the Dangers of Being Distracted by Children While Driving
The researchers found that children are an incredible 12 times as distracting as if a driver was using their cell phone. The study found that, on average, a parent took their eyes off the road for about three and a half minutes in a 16-minute drive. Common distractions included talking with a child, assisting them, or playing with them.
Avoid Handing Out Snacks and Food While Driving
One of the most common issues is parents handling snacks back to their children while they are in mid-drive. It is also dangerous for a parent to be eating or drinking while they are driving. If you do not have time to get everyone fed before you leave, choose snacks and drinks that are easy to consume and give them to your kids before you start driving.
It is Essential to Stay Prepared
You must plan ahead if you want to keep your distractions to a minimum. Make sure the items your children are likely to want are within hand’s reach. If you have an infant that is constantly throwing their toys, use straps or other fasteners to keep them attached to the car seat. Put garbage bags, books, and other necessities near older kids.
Do Not Be Afraid to Pull Over
If you do need to help your child with something, pull over your car. It may seem silly but it could literally save someone’s life. You can pull into a rest stop if you are on the interstate, a parking lot if you are in the city, or even on a side road if you are in the suburbs.
Let Your Child Wait
Unless your child truly needs something that they will be in danger if they do not receive it, your child can wait. They may get mad the first time you refuse to retrieve the doll they threw while you were driving, but after a few episodes they will learn that their parents are busy when driving and cannot be bothered.
If you do get into an accident, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 602-340-0030 for a free legal consultation.