Kids distract drivers worse than cellphones do

Cellphones are the first thing on everyone's mind when talking about distracted driving. People texting and talking behind the wheel does lead to a lot of accidents every year, but it's not the only distraction out there.

In fact, you may be surprised to find out that parents riding with their offspring could be an even larger risk on the roads. According to some studies, having children in the car while driving provides a dozen times as much distraction as using a cellphone does.

To find out, cameras were put in cars with parents. These were left in the vehicles for three weeks. Even though the parents presumably knew they were being taped, they were still distracted constantly.

Average trips in the car took 16 minutes, and they spent an average of three minutes and 22 seconds looking at something that wasn't the road. That could have been a child in the back seat asking how long it would take to get there or an older child in the front seat asking for a snack. Regardless, parents spent just under a quarter of the trip not watching the road.

Most of the time, the interactions parents had involved talking to children and looking at them — often in the rear-view mirror — a natural distraction, since kids usually ride in the back. However, perhaps more shocking was the 1 percent of the cases in which parents actually attempted to play with their kids while driving the car.

Have you been injured in an accident after being hit by a distracted parent? You may be able to get compensation for any lost wages, medical bills, and other losses.

Source: Medical Daily, "Kids In Cars 12 Times More Distracting For Drivers Than Talking On Cell Phones," Chris Weller, accessed Nov. 10, 2016

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