Everyone knows that texting and driving is illegal and driving while talking on the phone is dangerous. However, what many are unaware of is that driving with children can be even more distracting than talking on the phone and more dangerous than texting while driving. Monash University researchers conducted a study that followed 12 families with children over a span of three weeks in 2013. Researchers installed hidden recording devices in each of the families’ cars to monitor how often the parents looked away from the road or became otherwise distracted by their children. What they found was that driving with children is 12 times more distracting than using a cell phone.
Twenty Percent of Drive Time Was Spent With Eyes Off the Road
The reason texting and driving is so dangerous is that it takes the driver’s eyes off the road for significant periods of time. And, the reason that talking on a phone while driving is so dangerous is that it takes the driver’s mind off the task at hand and puts them in another place. Driving with children in the backseat, unfortunately, accomplishes both of these detrimental tasks. The Monash researchers found that on the average 16-minute drive, the driving parent spent 20 percent of the time with their eyes on their child or on the rearview mirror looking at their child. Overall, the driver became significantly distracted by their child during 98 percent of the trips taken. Turning to look at the child or looking in the mirror at the child was present in 76.4 percent of the trips, engaging in distracting conversation occurred during 16 percent of the trips, assisting the child was present in seven percent of the trips, and playing with the child occurred during one percent of the trips. Furthermore, in 70 percent of the trips taken, the child was not secured properly in their car seat, which did account for some of the distraction taking place. Researchers concluded that by properly securing children in their car seats, some of the assisting and other distractions could be reduced. Having another parent in the car with the driver to assist the child did not significantly reduce the driver’s distraction.
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Distracting Yes, But Dangerous?
Any distraction while driving creates danger, no matter how experienced or focused the driver believes themselves to be. For example, texting and driving is six times more dangerous than operating a vehicle with an illegal blood alcohol level of 0.08. Just dialing a phone increases the driver’s chances of being involved in an accident by 280 percent, and talking on the phone increases their chances of crashing by 130 percent. Due to the fact that children are 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone, driving with children in the car increases the driver’s chances of crashing by 15.6 times, or 1,560 percent.
Contact the Law Offices of Roger Ghai for Compensation
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident that was no fault of your own, chances are that the other driver became distracted or was performing some other act of negligence. They may owe you compensation for the damage they caused. Contact an experienced Georgia car accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. today at 770-792-1000 to discuss your legal options.