There are many other driving distractions besides smartphones. Children in the backseat can be just as distracting, if not more so, than your phone. Trying to deal with children can cause drivers to stop look away from the road and even take their hands off the steering wheel.
Experienced attorney Seth Anderson discusses why children can be so distracting and offers tips for parents on remaining focused on driving when their kids are in the car.
If you were injured in a distracted driving crash in the Fort Worth area, our Fort Worth-based vehicle accident lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation for your damages. We represent crash victims at no upfront cost.
Contact Anderson Cummings for a FREE case review: (817) 920-9000
How Are Children Distracting to Drivers?
Any parent can attest that it can be difficult to get children to behave in the car and keep them from fighting or complaining. Younger children are notorious for repeatedly asking how much longer the ride will be or saying that they have to go to the bathroom.
Here are some of the ways children can distract drivers and increase the risk of a distracted driving crash:
Fights and Tantrums
While one child can be distracting, things often escalate when there are multiple children in the backseat. They may have physical altercations with each other, causing the parent to turn to look in the back seat or even reach into the back seat to break things up. Even if you keep your eyes on the road, your concentration is going to drift away from the task of driving.
Fights are often over something trivial, like one child wanting something the other is holding. However, it can be difficult to get children to calm down and stop fighting. Part of the problem is parents do not know what is wrong, which can cause them to look in the back seat to assess the situation.
Parents can get particularly frustrated with children on a long road trip. This is because children have a harder time behaving when they have been in the car for a long period of time.
Eating and Drinking
Another major distraction is providing snacks and drinks to children. Parents are hoping that providing food or drinks will keep children occupied so they will not be so distracting. However, handing something to your child in the back seat can be a bad idea because one hand or both will come off the steering wheel. Your attention will also drift away from the task of driving. An even worse idea is sifting through a purse or bag to find snacks.
Food and drinks are often a source of conflict for children. One child may be holding a bag of snacks and refuse to give any to his or her brother or sister.
Spilling food or drinks can also be a distraction because it can cause a tantrum. Children can get very upset about something minor and parents often focus intently on getting the child to calm down.
Requests for Entertainment
Children often want constant entertainment. That is why parents often bring an iPad so their children can use it to entertain themselves. However, fights could break out if there is just one iPad or smartphone and one child wants it to be his or her turn.
Children may request that you play something on the radio. However, children might disagree on what they want you to play on the radio.
Your children may need help with something. For instance, maybe an app will not work. You may need to enter a password so they can access a smartphone.
Requests for entertainment are much more common as children get older. While infants may have other problems parents need to deal with, toddlers can be much more distracting than infants.
How Can I Avoid Child Distractions While Driving?
There are several strategies you can employ to reduce your risk of getting distracted by your children.
- Plan ahead – Planning ahead can go a long way toward reducing the risk of a distracted driving crash. If your kids often want snacks, put those snacks somewhere where they are easy to grab. Make sure toys your children like to play with are easy for them to grab. You can also set your kids up with an iPad or smartphone before you start the car and get on the road.
- Pull over when possible – This is the best way to avoid distracted driving. However, this is not always possible. Still, when it is possible, pull over and deal with the issue. Make sure you are in a safe place to pull over. You should avoid doing so in an area with heavy traffic.
- Explain the risks of distracted driving – As kids get older, they may be better able to understand you when you explain the risks of distracted driving. They may be more likely to behave if you remind them about the risks while you are driving. If you are almost to your destination, explain that the child only needs to wait a few minutes so their needs can be addressed.
- Always keep your eyes on the road – While your concentration may drift to your children, keeping your eyes on the road could help you avoid a collision. Looking away, even for a second or two is incredibly dangerous. You may be surprised at how long your eyes are off the road when you look in the back seat.
Contact Anderson & Cummings After a Car Crash Injury
Distracted driving can lead to dangerous and potentially deadly crashes. Victims of these crashes and their families may not know where to turn after such a collision. Contacting a licensed attorney can be an important step.
At Anderson & Cummings, we have been securing compensation for crash victims for decades. We have recovered over $100 million in compensation through settlements and courtroom decisions. Our legal team is prepared to manage every step of the legal process and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf and.
No upfront fees or legal costs. Call us: (817) 920-9000