90 PERCENT OF PARENTS ADMIT TO DRIVING WITH DISTRACTION

While most people think of distracted driving as a problem for teenage drivers, a recent study shows that many parents also engage in distracting behaviors while behind the wheel.

It is common knowledge that distracted driving is dangerous. Indeed, over the past few years, countless studies have demonstrated that driving while distracted ranks with drunk driving and sleepy driving as the most common causes of car accidents in the U.S. Nevertheless, despite numerous warnings about the hazards of distracted driving, it remains a common practice for people of all ages.

Recently, researchers at the University of Michigan polled parents to learn more about their driving habits. Of parents polled, approximately 90 percent admitted to driving while distracted, even when their children were in their vehicles.

As part of the study, which was published in the journal Academic Pediatrics, researchers approached the parents of children who had been admitted to the emergency room at a children's hospital in Flint, Michigan. In all, they received responses from 570 parents of children between the ages of one and 12. The survey asked parents whether they had ever engaged in any one of 10 listed common causes of distraction while driving. These included:

  • Emailing or texting
  • Using a navigation system
  • Eating
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Child-related activities, such as picking up a dropped toy or feeding

Approximately 90 percent of the 570 parents polled admitted that they had engaged in at least one of the listed distraction related behaviors. Researchers also found that parents of children between the ages of two and eight were more likely to drive while distracted than parents of infants.

About 65 percent of parents in the survey said that they had used their cell phones while behind the wheel. About 15 percent admitted that they had sent a text message while driving with their children in the car. Surprisingly, however, cell phone use was not the most commonly reported distraction: child-related distractions were by far the most frequently reported behaviors.

The authors of the study have said that they hope to raise awareness of the fact that distraction can come from multiple sources, not just cell phones. By educating parents about the dangers of distracted driving, they hope to make our roads safer for everyone.

Unfortunately, in many cases, individuals suffer serious, life-changing injuries in car accidents. If you have been injured, schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights. In some cases, you may be entitled to remuneration for your injuries. Talk to an attorney today to learn more.

Keywords: Distracted driving, Car accidents