You can get distracted by almost anything while driving. Maybe you need to put a new destination into your GPS. Maybe you need to make a phone call. Maybe you just want to bring up a new song on your playlist. The list goes on and on.
One major distraction that often gets overlooked, though, is having children in the car. As it turns out, one of the most heavily distracted groups of people on the road may simply be parents.
In one study, researchers compared having children in the car to talking on the phone. They said that the kids were 12 times as distracting as the cellphone. When parents drove somewhere for 16 minutes — an average trip — they would look away from the road for around three minutes and 22 seconds. That’s nearly a quarter of the entire drive. Reports called that percentage “staggering,” and it helped to underline the fact that phones are not the only distraction.
How are children distracting, specifically? There are many ways. They may talk, complain or argue. They may take off their seat belts. They may fight with one another. They may want snacks and drinks. They may drop toys on the ground and want someone to pick them up. They may simply keep asking when they’ll arrive. Young children may cry. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Parents cannot avoid this type of distraction entirely. They have to travel with their kids, and they are going to cause accidents because of it. If you get injured in one of these accidents, you must know what legal rights you have to seek compensation.