Many news reports look to teens as the primary offenders when it comes to using cell phones while driving. But adults can be just as guilty, even parents who have children in their cars. In fact, a new study performed by researchers at the University of Michigan interviewed 570 parents of children aged 1 to 12 who were treated at two hospital emergency rooms. About 90 percent of parent drivers admitted to distracted driving.
One might think that with kids in the vehicle, parents would use greater caution behind the wheel. Yet researchers in Michigan found that 15 percent admit to texting while driving, and 75 percent admit to using their cell phones.
But it’s not just mobile devices distracting parents. In fact, giving food to a child was an even bigger distraction than using a cellphone. Another one is picking up a child’s toy. In a nutshell, parents who have children in the car may focus more on them than on the road.
The study also found that the child’s age plays a role in distractions. There was less of an issue with children aged 1 year old and younger. Most distracted driving occurred with children between the ages of 2 and 8 years old.
Mobile devices have been the primary target of anti-distracted driving literature. But the reality is that anytime a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel, eyes off the road or mind off the task of driving, it increases the risk of an accident.
Of course, the other issue is the bad example this sets for children. Parents can ensure their children use the proper restraint system and remain buckled at all times. Yet their actions behind the wheel could put their children at risk of getting injured in an accident.
Distracted driving is a serious issue and a common cause of many crashes. If it’s believed it was the cause of an accident in which you suffered injuries, contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates right away. If a loved one sustained fatal injuries because of a distracted driver, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice by filling out our contact form.