Most parents believe that they are often better drivers when they have their children in the car with them. After all, children are our most precious cargo, and we do all we can as parents to protect them. One of the most important factors that we may not realize is that having children in the vehicle with us can actually result in more incidents of distracted driving than when we don’t have the kids in the car.
Distracted driving is thought to be the cause of up to 80 percent of all crashes. When it comes to the topic of distracted driving, many people think of cell phone use and texting. While any use of cell phones while driving is a major problem on today’s roads, there are many things that parents do when their children are in the vehicle with them that also take their focus off the road and are considered distracted driving. In fact, research shows that children are about four times as distracting to drivers as adult passengers.
When you really think about it, these results make sense. Have you ever had to break up an argument between your children in the backseat of the vehicle as you were driving? Have you ever tried to soothe a fussy baby while you were driving? How about handing out snacks or drinks? If you answered yes to any of these activities, which most likely every parent will, you could be putting your children and yourself of being injured in a distracted driving accident.
Other common distracting activities that parents engage in with children in the car include:
- Pickup up items that a child has dropped
- Rummaging through a bag for a certain item
- Changing DVD or music for a child
- Reaching into the backseat
While it may seem impossible to avoid these distractions, there are some steps parents can take to minimize the risk of distracted driving and the possible consequences. Consider not accessing any technology while you are driving. Set up movies or music before you being your drive. If something happens and you do have to access one of these media, pull over into a safe area and park your vehicle before doing so.
When it comes to snacks, some parents have a family rule that no one is allowed to eat in the car. If this type of rule wouldn’t work in your situation, then consider handing out snacks before the drive begins, and if you do have to give your child a snack or drink while driving, again, pull over into a safe place and park before doing so.
Pullin over also works well for soothing fussy babies, referring fighting siblings, and picking items off the floor that your child has dropped.
Let Our Firm Help
Unfortunately, no matter how safe we are as drivers, there is always a high risk of another party causing an accident. If your child has suffered an injury in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal options may be available.
Injury claims involving child victims can be complex, including the statute of limitations for filing a claim and other factors. Your child may be entitled to financial compensation for both past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, scarring, disfigurement, and any permanent disabilities their injuries may have left them with. Contact Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn to schedule a free case evaluation and find out how we can help.
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