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Kids in the car: More distracting than cellphones?


Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Mar 21, 2013 in Car Accidents

Distracted driving is a major contributor in many car accidents across Connecticut. There are some drivers who do not understand that taking focus off the road can put all motorists in danger. They peek at their phones, dig around for a snack, flip through radio stations or even engage in grooming habits when they should be paying attention to the road.

Parents should be especially cautious behind the wheel when they are driving with children. These young passengers can become seriously hurt or worse if they are involved in an accident. Unfortunately, driving with children can actually be one of the biggest distractions which can put them and their parents at risk of getting into an accident.

A study linking distracted driving with young passengers was conducted by researchers in Australia. The findings of the study suggest that drivers are 12 times more distracted by children in the car than they are when they are talking on a cellphone. During a 16-minute car trip with children in the backseat, an average driver takes his or her eyes of the road for a total of three minutes and 22 seconds.

Some parents are so distracted by crying children or breaking up fights that they are paying more attention to what's happening behind them and in their rear-view mirrors than what is happening on the road in front of and around them. This puts distracted drivers at risk of swerving into oncoming traffic, missing a stop sign or rear-ending a stopped car in front of them.

It can be impossible to avoid driving with children in the backseat. However, parents can set up rules for the children to follow during car rides. Similarly, adults can set up rules for themselves when it comes to driving with kids, including staying focused on the road and ignoring other distractions like a cellphone. Improving the awareness of drivers is one way to keep drivers safer behind the wheel and prevent car accidents from happening in the first place.

Source: ABC News, "One of the Worst Driving Distractions on the Road: Your Kids," Paula Faris, March 19, 2013

  • Victims of a serious accident while driving have the right to pursue damages from a negligent or distracted driver. For more information on how our Connecticut law firm can help, please visit our page on car accidents.