Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013 7:16 AM
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Parents who admit to distracted driving or more likely to have been involved in an accident
, 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."
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5/9/2013 3:04:53 PM
Enforcing distracted driving laws is both a practical impossibility and an attempt to cure the greater problem by focusing on only a symptom. If you didn't receive any compensation for accidents that you were at fault for then you'd either no longer be able to afford to drive or you'd drive a hell of a lot more carefully after the incident.
Insurance separates the responsibility of driving from drivers to such an extent that drivers just aren't concerned about being involved in accidents nearly as much as they should be.
5/10/2013 2:19:06 PM
I can't agree with this. Although I'm sure there's the exception, It's hard to imagine people even subconsciously choosing to text and drive because they have insurance.
For some it's a lack of fear because they've never been burned. Many also don't care to be considerate of other drivers. Then there are those that don't care about anything or anyone, including themselves. I'm sure there are specifics to every case.
Maybe if the consequences are truly severe. Such as loosing your car and having it sold and the money donated to charity.
5/11/2013 5:13:03 PM
I see your point but the consequences I'm referring to aren't necessarily related to any type of choice conscious or not. I'm also not suggesting that consequences be artificially imposed over and above the actual costs of damages caused to anyone's own property and body.
I'm just saying that the current level of insurance available to drivers equates to society collectively agreeing to relieve drivers from a great deal of the responsibility of the driving. Now that same society is seeking to criminalize irresponsible drivers rather than seeking insurance reform.
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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