Most Parents Guilty of Distracted Driving, Study Finds | Edmunds

Most Parents Guilty of Distracted Driving, Study Finds


Just the Facts:
  • A new study found that 90 percent of parent drivers said they engaged in distracted driving while their child was a passenger.
  • The distractions include everything from giving food to the child to texting while driving.
  • The new University of Michigan study was published in Academic Pediatrics.

ANN ARBOR, Michigan A new study found that 90 percent of parent drivers said they engaged in distracted driving while their child was a passenger.

The distractions include everything from giving food to the child to texting while driving.

The new University of Michigan study was published in Academic Pediatrics.

The study looked at 10 common distractions.

"This just highlights the need to consider multiple sources of driver distraction when kids are passengers," said Michelle L. Macy, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. "Giving food to a child or picking up a toy for a child not only requires a driver to take their hands off the wheel but also take their eyes off the road."

Driver distraction was "significantly associated with the age of the child," the study said.
The odds of reporting a child-related distraction was higher among parents of children between the ages of two and eight than among parents of one-year-olds.

The study is based on responses of 570 parents of children aged 1-12 who arrived in the emergency departments of two Michigan hospitals.

Federal safety regulators define distracted driving as something that happens "any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off your primary task: driving safely. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing."

Each year, more than 130,000 children younger than 13 are treated in U.S. emergency departments after motor-vehicle collision-related injuries.

Edmunds says: Stressed-out and distracted parents need a wake-up call behind the wheel.

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