Parents more likely to drive distraction-free with kids, NSC survey says

Photo: RichLegg/iStockphoto

Itasca, IL — Parents are less likely to use distracting technology when driving with their children in the car, according to the results of a new survey conducted by the National Safety Council and the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association Emergency Responder Safety Institute.

Researchers surveyed 1,000 drivers 25 and older who drive with children. Nearly two-thirds of these respondents admitted to regularly or occasionally programming a navigation system while driving alone, but that risky behavior dropped 20% when children were present in the car. Similarly, more than half of the respondents admitted to regularly or occasionally talking on a cellphone while driving, which dropped 13% when children were along for the ride. 

“The harsh reality is that thousands lose their lives each year in crashes where distracted driving plays a role,” Lorraine Martin, president and CEO of NSC, said. “We should all drive as though we have a loved one in our car on every trip, every time.”

Other key findings:

  • 4 out of 5 respondents unsafely use their cellphone when driving, whether handheld or hands-free. 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people’s driving habits, with 11% of respondents admitting to driving faster than the speed limit because of less congestion and traffic.

NSC released the survey during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, observed every April, to raise awareness and educate about the importance of being attentive behind the wheel.

Visit nsc.org/justdrive for resources to share in your workplace and community.

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