Looking for the most distracted drivers on the road? Don’t just look for the teen talking to her friends or the college student sending a text message or the office worker on the phone with his or her boss. Take a look in the drop-off lane at your local elementary school. Experts warn that parents are some of the most distracted drivers on the road.
Just a few examples paint a very clear picture of the problem. Among other things, parents have reported these distracting activities while driving with the kids:
- Turning the music up extra loud for kids who don’t like the car.
- Listening to kids and adults alike all drum their hands along with that music.
- Putting in DVDs for the kids to watch and even changing out discs while driving.
- Handing out snacks and drinks.
- Reaching back to comfort a crying child by rubbing his foot.
- Picking up toys that were dropped on the floor.
- Giving the kids breakfast on the way to school.
- Restarting a child’s favorite song repeatedly in the CD player.
Some parents even have so much to do that they wind up driving with their knees and using both hands to attend to the kids. When hazards appear ahead of them, not only will they be looking away, but they’ll be in no position to respond quickly.
The risks are clear. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says having a baby in the car makes drivers eight times more distracted. Older children raise the distraction level by four times.
Those who are hit by distracted drivers, no matter the distraction, must know their legal options.
Source: Parents, “The Most Dangerous Drivers,” Sarah Mahoney, accessed Jan. 05, 2018