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Driving With Children Is More Distracting Than Talking On A Cell Phone

Researchers at Monash University have found that driving with children in the car is 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone. The reason is that parents tend to spend large portions of their time with their eyes off the road, and instead focused on their children. The fact that children are so much more distracting than cell phones may be a surprise to many, given that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 40 percent of all traffic collisions involve the use of a cell phone. Over 2.3 million people are injured in traffic collisions in the U.S. every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to that, well over 30,000 fatalities occur on the roads. By realizing just how distracting children can be, you can help protect your family and other road users by keeping yourself focused on the road and ignoring backseat complaints, yelling, bickering, and crying.

Just How Dangerous is Driving With Children?

While texting and driving is six times more dangerous than driving with an illegal blood alcohol content of 0.08, simply dialing a phone increases the chance of crashing by 280 percent. Talking on the phone increases the chance of crashing by 130 percent. Because children are 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone, it is concluded that driving with children increases the chance of crashing by 15.6 times, or 1,560 percent.

Details of the 2013 Monash University Study

The researchers chose 12 families with children to participate in their study. They installed hidden monitoring equipment to record the driving of each family during a three-week period. It was found that during a 16-minute drive, parents, on average, spent 20 percent of the time with their eyes off the road, looking at their children instead. In fact, in 98 percent of trips taken, the driver became distracted by their child. Turning around to look at the child, or looking in the rear view mirror, was present in 76.4 percent of the trips. Assisting the child occurred in seven percent of the trips, engaging in distracting conversation occurred in 16 percent of the trips, and playing with the child occurred in one percent of the trips. The researchers also observed that in 70 percent of trips taken, the children were not adequately restrained in their seat. They concluded that making sure that the safety constraints were adjusted and tightened properly would decrease the rate of distraction, as well as providing more safety for the child in the event of a collision. One thing that many parents may believe, that having an additional adult front seat passenger will decrease the rate of driver distraction, turns out to not be true. Researchers found that drivers became distracted by their children regardless of a front seat passenger.

The Law Offices of Ed Schottenstein Are Here to Help

If you have been involved in an auto collision in Columbus or the Central Ohio region, contact the law offices of Ed Schottenstein at (614) 467-8474to speak with an experienced car accident attorney today. We are happy to assist you with your case.