There are many distractions drivers face on the road, but moms face even more. Whether you are handing something to your child, or changing the radio station at their behest, any distraction that takes mom’s eyes and attention off the road can cause a lifetime of devastating consequences.
In 2012 alone, distracted driving related accidents accounted for an estimated 3,328 deaths and 421,000 injuries (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). A poll recently conducted by American Baby and Safe Kids Worldwide asked 2,396 new mothers about their driving habits and what they discovered shocked even the experts.
- 78% of moms talk on the phone while driving with their kids, a habit that is as dangerous as driving drunk.
- 26% text or check email, which is twice as risky as drunk driving.
- Moms log an average of 5 hours and 20 minutes of consecutive sleep nightly, slowing their reaction time.
- Nearly 10% of new moms have been in a crash while driving with their baby.
What can you do?
While 98 percent of parents driving with a child can relate to this “bad mommy” behavior, many do not take enough precautions while hurtling through traffic. Protecting your child is your first priority every time you turn the engine on and the tips below from American Baby Magazine can help keep your precious cargo safe:
- WE HAVE WAY TOO MANY DISTRACTIONS. Play defense, not offense. If you’ve got a fussy-pants passenger, rather than taking your eyes and hands off the wheel, pull over to deal with whatever he/she needs and don’t try to make up that time once you’re on the road again.
- WE DON’T KEEP OUR CELLPHONE IN THE BACKSEAT. Turn your phone off and put it in the backseat. At the very least, turn off the ringer and notifications, so they won’t entice you to check it and then stash it out of reach.
The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. For a great resource, visit http://www.distraction.gov to find more powerfully persuasive facts and statistics.