Are kids more distracting than talking on a cellphone? According to research out of Australia, yes, and what’s more, the level of distraction is drastically greater.
How often do you think you take your eyes away from the road on a 16 minute trip? The persons overseeing the study came to the conclusion that parents driving kids will look somewhere other than the road for an average of more than three minutes on such a trip. That equates to a level of distraction 12 times as severe as cellphone usage, according to the Australian researchers. And babies can be eight times as distracting as adults, according to AAA.
We can’t ban children in vehicles the way we ban cellphone usage in California, but parents definitely need to make themselves aware of the risks and take steps to eliminate danger. An ABC News article which featured a reporter testing her own driving skills when children were present has some tips for concerned parents and guardians.
First, if the children are old enough to speak with, lay out some ground rules for the car. Explain that their dropping a toy or other item means they will have to wait until the vehicle stops before you’ll pick it up for them. Have a snack bag on hand for the kids, and make sure you never answer your cellphone when transporting children. This latter activity, as a matter of fact, should be refrained from at all times behind the wheel.
Now that you’ve reviewed the tips, view the full video below.