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Parents admit to driving distracted with children in the car: study

May 22, 2013

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Washington – Many parents may be driving distracted with children as passengers, according to survey results from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Researchers asked more than 600 parents or caregivers of children 1-12 years old about their driving behaviors when children were passengers. Among the findings:

  • Nearly 90 percent of parents engaged in at least one technology-based distraction in the previous month while driving with a child.
  • Talking on a handheld or hands-free phone was the most commonly reported distraction, and texting was the least common.
  • Parents who drove distracted with a child were more likely to have ever been in a crash.

Researchers also found that parents who did not use the correct child restraint based on their child’s age and weight were 2.5 times more likely to engage in a child-related distraction, such as feeding them or returning a dropped toy, while driving.

Survey results were presented at the 2013 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.