We all know that texting while driving is extremely distracting. But scientists recently discovered something even more distracting. It’s simply having kids in the car!
In a breakthrough new study, researchers found that children are 12 times more distracting to a driver than talking on a cell phone. And kids are 8 times more distracting than having an adult passenger.
And here’s something terrifying: Parents with kids in the car take their eyes off the road as much as 20-percent of the time. Or about 4 minutes during a 20 minute trip.
Experts explain it’s because kids tend to be needy in the car. They’re asking you to hand them a toy, unwrap a snack, or change the radio station.
And, dads, beware! Your driving is the most negatively affected by kids. The study found that children distract men more often, and for longer periods of time.
And taking your eyes off the road for even 6 seconds – like when your kid hands you the wrapper from their snack – is the same length of time your eyes would be off the road reading a text message.
And a lot of parents have the rearview mirror angled to see the backseat – where the kids are – instead of out the back window!
So, how can you drive safely with kids? Experts suggest setting up rules that’ll limit kids’ attention-grabbing behavior before you put the key in the ignition. For example, a “no squabbling in the car rule.” And if they break it, they’re grounded.