Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kids In Cars 12 Times More Distracting For Drivers Than Talking On Cell Phones

From Medical Daily
If there’s one principle that needs to be observed when driving, it’s that the road must be seen to be driven. Scanning, braking, turning, merging — these actions all depend on direct observance of the traffic around you. Shouldn’t it make sense, then, that parents are far more likely to get distracted by the kids in the backseat than talking on their hands-free cell phone? A new study from the Monash University Accident Research Center now confirms the risks parents have known anecdotally for years.

Driving with children isn’t just slightly more dangerous; it’s a full 12 times more dangerous, according to the study. When researchers installed cameras in the cars of 12 families over a three-week period, they found talking on the phone only accounted for one percent of distractions. Distractions from children, meanwhile, accounted for 12 percent of all distractions. Over the course of an average 16-minute trip, parents that had kids present spent three minutes and 22 seconds with their eyes not on the road.

“The costs of distracted driving are undeniable,” Dr. Judith Charlton, one of the center’s associate directors, said in a statement, adding, “one major and previously unrecognized distraction is kids in the back seat.” Researchers called the study the first of its kind to analyze the effects of backseat distractions on the driver.

Read the rest of the article from Medical Daily