For all that is said about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, texting while behind the wheel, or even eating a meal while in the flow of traffic, there is one element distracting element in many cars that safety advocates have raised an alarm about…children.
According to an ABC News report, Australian researchers measured how many times the average parent took his or her eyes off the road to respond to children in the car. They found that children are 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone. The study was the first of its kind, and had not really been tested in the United States.
The findings are a revelation given the movement to ban distracted driving with regard to using cell phones while driving. More than 30 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning the use of cell phones while driving. However, we suspect that there will be no future regulations on how many children can ride in a car with a parent.
Nevertheless, we have spoken at length about the legal duty that drivers have to use reasonable care in avoiding road hazards (and to avoid being hazards themselves). So there are a number of things parents can do so that they do not put their kids (and other drivers) in danger.
Set clear expectations about rules before leaving home – This way you won’t have to constantly have to correct bad behavior by having to turn around and scold them.
Don’t worry about things that drop – If it falls to the floor, it stays there until you reach your destination or you find a safe place to pull over. This applies to food, phones, DVDs and toys, no matter how much it upsets the person who dropped it.
Source: ABC News.com, One of the worst driving distractions: your kids, March 19, 2013