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Children are terrifically distracting for drivers

Posted on March 29, 2016

Think that cellphones are a major cause of distraction for drivers? You’re not wrong, but the reality is that children have actually been found to be 12 times as distracting as phones. In this sense, parents may actually be a high-risk group.

The thing that distracted parents the most, according to the study, was when they had to turn around and look at their kids, who were seated in the back. This happened in a full 76 percent of cases, and the parents’ eyes were entirely off of the road each time.

Turning around wasn’t the only distraction, though. Parents talked with a child in 16 percent of cases, and they helped children with drinks and food in 7 percent of cases. While having someone else in the front seat could help to a small degree, it didn’t alter the results as much as would be assumed.

At the end of the day, the study found that drivers who were on the road for just 16 minutes tended to look away for an average of three minutes and 22 seconds. That’s an incredible amount, accounting for 21 percent of the entire drive. They were only looking at the road for 79 percent of the trip.

New mothers often did the worst, as they had to combine stress and fatigue with all of these other factors. A full 10 percent said they’d crashed while driving with a baby.

Distractions noted by parents included playing music at a high level to keep a child from crying, feeding children while driving, and bending down to pick up things that children dropped.

If a distracted parent caused an accident and injured you in Louisiana, be sure to look into your legal options.

Source: InfantTech, “The shocking statistics on distracted driving and children,” accessed March 29, 2016