Tips to Reduce Distractions By Your Children While Driving
Traveling when you have youngsters in the car is never an easy task. You have to fully prepare every time you leave your home with snacks, drinks, first aid kit, extra pair of clothes, and toys, the list goes on and on. Even when you have all your bases covered, siblings will still pick at each other and fight, be loud, and boisterous. They bounce around and have little patience always wanting to know if “you are there yet.” Babies cry and you are always looking in your rearview mirror to make sure they are ok. Even the most well-behaved children can be seriously distracting to a driver.
Do Children In The Car Affect The Ability Of Drivers To Safely Operate Their Cars?
As parents, we get used to these hectic trips and don’t think they are affecting our ability to safely get from point A to point B. The reality is that research done on interruptions occurring while we drive, including our children. In Australia, researchers examining factors that affect families while they travel. The study showed that having children in the car makes distracts parents 12 times more than cell phones.
Some interesting results from the study include:
In a 16 minute trip, parents were not looking at the road for 3 minutes and 22 seconds.
Turning to look at children or checking on them in the rearview mirror was the most common cause for parents taking their eyes off of the road and was responsible for 76.4% of distractions children cause.
Talking to your children was a second distracting behavior 16% of the time parents were in the car with their kids.
Various behaviors and actions to assist their children made up 7% of the distractions children caused.
Driving while also playing with children was happening 1% of the time.
How Can You Increase Safety While Driving With Children?
These tips can help keep children more settled and less distracting:
Keeping little bellies full before you enter into the car can avoid having to stop and turn around while driving to distribute a snack. Whining about being hungry and distracting your mind will also be lessened. If you can’t ensure that your children are full before you head out, make sure you have snacks easily accessible to children so you don’t have to hand them out while driving.
There are straps that can keep pacifiers on babies’ clothing, organizers that hang from the seats to hold all of their toys, books, and entertainment so that they can have everything they need without you having to double duty driving while also trying to give them the things they need.
If you don’t have everything in place and your child needs something, it is much better to pull over to a safe location and get out to give them what they need. You can assess the situation much better and with less risk.
The only thing you should be looking at when you are driving is the road. Keep your phone out of grasp, and anything else that requires your attention should be put off until you you are out of the car.
If you can’t pull over to assess your child’s needs just stay focused and alert on the road and let them cry it out. It is better for babies to cry and you arrive safely to where you need to go than taking your eyes off of the road to fix what is happening in the backseat.