A new study shows that parent’s behave just as badly behind the wheel as drivers without children, even when their kids are in the car.
A new study conducted at the University of Michigan shows little to no difference in the number of people who admit to talking on a cell phone or sending a text message who are driving alone or with their children. It might not come as a surprise, but the study also pointed out that parents are more susceptible to distraction because there is more to take their attention away from the road with children in the car.
Of the parents in the study, 66 percent said they talked on their cell phones while driving their children while 33 percent said they sent texts. But parents also said they were more likely to engage in other distracting activities like feeding their children than they are to talk on the phone.
“This just highlights the need to consider multiple sources of driver distraction when kids are passengers. 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,” the study’s lead author Dr. Michelle Macy said.
The study results are based on responses from 570 parents with children between one and 12 years old who came into the emergency departments in one of two Michigan hospitals.
Parents with children between ages two and eight in the study reported the most distractions of the study’s sample.