Distracted drivers? Parents may be just as guilty as teens

Although media attention has put teens’ distracted driving habits in the spotlight, a new survey shows that parents are also guilty of multi-tasking while driving – even with their children in the car.

The University of Michigan study asked parents about a series of possible distracting behaviors parents might engage in while driving with their children in the vehicle. Some of these behaviors include using  a cell phone to talk or text, eating, getting directions, grooming, and child care (for example, reaching for a toy). Almost 90 percent of parents said they had engaged in at least one technology-based distracted with their children in the car in the past month. Most drivers said they had engaged in four out of 10 possible distracted behaviors.

This study also asked parents about the type of safety restraint they use for their children in the car. Many children were not in the appropriate child safety restraint for their size.

In a 2011 NPCH Report, we asked parents of children 7 to 48 months old about their experiences with child safety seats and when they turned their child’s seat from rear-facing to forward-facing. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping a child safety seat in the rear-facing position until at least two years of age, almost three out of four parents turned their child to forward-facing before age two. Read the full report: Parents turning car seats to face forward too early.

Car seats: age child was first turned forward-facing
View full size image | See other infographics

What are your experiences with driving with children? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!