Driving while talking on your cell phone has long been banned by most communities, but what about driving with kids in the car?
Australian researchers recently took on the controversial question, “If driving while talking on your cell phone is distracting, what about driving with kids in your car?”
If you’re a parent, you know what the answer to this research is going to be.
The researchers found that the distraction level of children in the car is a stunning 12 times that of talking on your cell! (It doesn’t say what age the children were used in the study, but from experience, I would say between the ages of 2 months-12 years are the most distracting ages).
According to their findings, the average parent takes their eyes off the road for a staggering three minutes and 22 seconds during a 16-minute trip.
When kids are in the car, parents are breaking up fights between squabbling siblings and calming fussy babies. By the way, those babies are eight times more distracting to the driver than adult passengers, according to AAA.
And the study found Dads are much more distracted than Moms with kids in the car, with their eyes leaving the road for longer periods of time. (Because Dads have to cast a menacing glance when issuing the standard “Don’t make me pull this car over” speech!)
Some suggestion to alleviate the distractions:
— Have snacks for the kids to keep them occupied.
–Allow them to bring toys and games to pass the time.
–Pull over to settle arguments. (See? Kids respond to attention, Dad, not idle threats to pull that car over!)