When driving, kids are a worse distraction than your phone

You know that distractions cause accidents, and texting and driving is something you never do. You don't even talk on the phone behind the wheel and certainly don't browse the Internet or check your email. You especially don't let yourself get distracted when your kids are in the car, as you never want to put them in danger.

That's a good start, and you should continue. But you should also know that some studies have found you're facing an even more dire distraction that you can't avoid —the kids themselves.

Specifically, the study said that kids were a dozen times as distracting as cellphones if the driver was talking. That doesn't compare texting and driving to driving with kids, but it's still a significantly alarming number.

The trips taken during the study were just 16 minutes long. In that time, drivers with kids were looking away from the road for an average of three minutes and 22 seconds. That's nearly 25 percent of their total driving time.

It makes sense when you consider the circumstances. A baby cries and you try to calm him or her down. Two older siblings fight, and you either try to break it up or yell at them to stop. You can't tell what the kids are doing, so you twist the rear view mirror so that, instead of showing the traffic behind you, it shows your kids in the back seat. As a parent, you've probably done all of that and more.

If you have, be careful. Understand that it's a distraction that can lead to an accident. At the same time, if another distracted parent causes a crash and injures you and your kids, be sure you know your legal rights to compensation for your medical bills.

Source: ABC News, "One of the Worst Driving Distractions on the Road: Your Kids," Paula Faris, accessed Aug. 09, 2017

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