Too Many Parents Are Using Cell Phones While Driving Children

A recent survey shows that 50 percent of parents and caregivers use cell phones while driving kids. Survey researchers asked 760 parents and regular caregivers of children ages 4-10 from 47 states about their cell phone behaviors with kids in the car during the three months prior to the study, which took place earlier this year. The survey was conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Approximately 52 percent of people surveyed said they talked on hands-free phones while behind the wheel, and 47 percent used handheld phones. Nearly 34 percent of parents and caregivers said they read texts while driving; almost 27 percent admitted to sending texts, and approximately 14 percent used social media while driving their most precious cargo!

Another interesting and rather disturbing thing the survey found was that 14.5 percent of people surveyed didn’t use car seats or other child restraints with their young children. These respondents, as well as people who had a history of driving under the influence, were more likely to use cell phones while driving.

Distracted Driving Crash Numbers

People who use cell phones while driving children must wise-up and stop placing their children—and occupants of other vehicles, including other people’s kids—in danger. Distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives in 2016 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Maryland, the sad statistics show that approximately 185 people are killed annually and 27,000 are injured because of distracted driving.

Within the realm of distracted driving behaviors, which includes cell phone use, eating and drinking, fiddling with the radio and other things that take the hands off the wheel or the eyes off the road, cell phone use is the top distraction. On its website, the NHTSA cites texting as the most alarming distracted driving behavior, pointing out that sending or reading a text takes a driver’s “eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.”

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Parents Must Set the Example

One of the major responsibilities parents and caregivers have is to keep children protected and safe. People who use a cell phone behind the wheel with kids in the car while hurtling down the highway at 60 mph aren’t living up to their responsibilities. We all know young children learn by example—they watch everything their parents and other caregiving adults do, and they often emulate behaviors. So it is important to remember that today’s young passengers will be tomorrow’s drivers. If their parents engaged in risky driving behaviors, they are likely to do so as well. Parents can set the example and stop the dangerous cycle by putting down the phone.

We Are Here to Help

If you or a loved one has been the unfortunate victim of a distracted driver, or if you have other legal concerns, Baltimore car accident lawyer Steve Heisler may be able to help. Call us today at 410-625-4878 for a free initial consultation, or use our convenient and confidential form.