It seems adults, specifically parents with young children, are just as guilty as everyone and anyone else when it comes to engaging in distracted driving. Researchers from the University of Michigan surveyed more than 600 parents to find out what distractions they face while driving with their children, whether they use age-appropriate child restraints and if they had ever been in a motor vehicle accident. They found that almost 90% of drivers reported engaging in at least one technology-based distraction while driving their child in the past month, drivers who reported engaging in distracting behaviors were more likely to report having ever been in a crash, and drivers of children who were not restrained in an age-appropriate restraint had 2.5 times higher odds of reporting a child-related distraction than drivers of children who were restrained properly.
The results were shocking to us, and got us thinking about what could be done to help prevent these hazards and keep all children a little safer. At Beach Auto Brokers, we came up with a few things for you to take a minute and think about next time you get in a vehicle with your child:
1 – Set an example and wear your own seatbelt. Inspiration: Parents who reported always wearing a seatbelt were significantly more likely to report their child always uses the age-appropriate restraint.
2 – Ensure you have the correct and age-appropriate restraint for your child. Inspiration: Many children are not using the right safety seat for their size. Check your state’s law for specific child-restraint regulations. The safety guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics include the following details:
- Infants should ride rear-facing until they are at least 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds.
- Toddlers should use a forward-facing safety seat with a full 5-point harness until they exceed the weight and/or height limit of the seat.
- Young children should use a booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall and can wear a properly positioned adult seat belt.
3 – Have you child in the safest place in the car. In general, kids should ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old, even if they are tall enough to wear an adult seat belt.
4 – Attach toys to your child’s car seat. Those just-for-the-car items don’t do any good if they are on the floor, and you are putting everyone in danger when you try to reach down and grab them behind you or look back to see where they have landed.
5 – Put your phone down. Inspiration: Almost 90% of drivers reported engaging in at least one technology-based distraction while driving their child. That email, text message, or phone call can certainly wait until you get to your destination, especially when you weigh the importance of it against your children.
Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 25 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about. And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you. No matter which vehicle you decide is the best fit for you, remember to drive safely.