As residents of North Carolina know, there are numerous ways in which drivers can be distracted behind the wheel — eating, chatting, loud music and more — and all of them can be dangerous. Texting while driving often makes popular headlines, reminding people of how vital it is to keep their eyes on the road and to limit distractions, and rightfully so. But what many people don’t think about as often is how risky it is for parents when their children are in the vehicle with them. The potential distractions are huge.

According to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, children can be four times more distracting to drivers than adults as passengers, and babies can be eight times more of a distraction. 

A 2013 study, this one from Monash University in Australia, showed that kids are up to 12 times more of a distraction to a driver than talking on a cell phone. The researchers also observed that the average parent driver takes his or her eyes off the road for nearly three and a half minutes during a 16-minute drive.

Some of these distracted driving parent behaviors included:

  • Turning to look at their child
  • Watching their child in the rear-view mirror
  • Helping their child
  • Having conversations with their child

If you’re a parent driver who’s distracted behind the wheel, you may be putting not only yourself at risk and others on the road in jeopardy but also endangering the lives of your beloved children. It’s critical that you minimize distractions so that both you and your family get to your destination safely.

If you or your loved one have been injured in a vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to find out about your legal options and to speak to a qualified, local North Carolina attorney.