Parents who admit to distracted driving or more likely to have been involved in an accident

The federal government, states, and even local governments are all out to take on distracted driving. You don't have to drive long to see someone weaving around as they try and text on their smartphone or answer a phone call. The problem with distracted driving is that it significantly increases the rate of accidents around the country.

A new study has recently been published that found parents of pre-teen kids are among the biggest offenders when it comes to distracted driving. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and surveyed more than 600 parents. The information gathered by the survey found that 90% of drivers reported engaging in at least one technology-based distraction while carting their kids around.

Most of the drivers in the survey admitted to 4/10 distracted behaviors. The study also found that these admitted distracted drivers were also more likely to have been involved in an accident.

"Lots of attention has been given to distracted teen drivers. However, our results indicate parents are frequently distracted while driving their 1- to 12-year-old children, and these distracted drivers were more likely to have been in a crash," said lead author Michelle L. Macy, a clinical lecturer in Department of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

The study surveyed parents while children were being treated at one of two emergency rooms in Michigan between October of 2011 and May 2012. The participants were asked how often they perform distracting behaviors while driving with their child over the month preceding the accident.

The most common distractions cited by participants in the study include talking on the phone via hands-free or handheld devices, texting, surfing the internet, and things such as grooming or eating. Activities associated with taking care of a child, such as feeding the kid or picking up toys, were also cited as were receiving directions from the navigation system for changing DVDs or CDs.

"Our research has identified some high-impact areas to improve child passenger safety," Macy said. "Distracted driving while children are in the car is common."

Source: Detroit News

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