To keep themselves and others safe, parents must avoid common distractions on the road. These include things like talking on the phone or trying to eat or drink while driving. Any type of multitasking can lead to an accident.
However, there is one major distraction that parents may not be able to avoid: their own children.
According to one study, having kids in the car is 12 times as distracting as having a conversation on a mobile phone. That study found that during an average trip of just 16 minutes, most parents are distracted by their children for about three minutes and 22 seconds. That’s nearly a quarter of the entire trip.
The problem is that distractions take many forms. A child may drop a toy and start asking a parent to pick it up. Two siblings may get into a minor fight or an argument with one another. Even just having a crying baby in the car triggers a parent’s natural desire to help, and it can be very distracting.
Children do not fully understand the risk they’re creating. A parent can hang up a cellphone or put down a cup of coffee or turn off the radio. That parent cannot always get the children to calm down when needed, even when explaining the danger. Not only does this lead to immediate distractions, but it can also lead to elevated stress levels, which can hinder decision-making abilities.
Have you suffered injuries in an accident with a distracted parent? If so, make sure that you know all of the legal options you have to seek compensation.