Does Distracted Driving Endanger Your Kids?

The first driver zipped through the stop sign, but succeeded at parallel parking. She went too fast through the time trial part and killed a couple cones. She failed again, but not as bad as with the cellphone test. The second driver failed the parking test, and "half failed" the time trial for not looking both ways. Overall he failed as well.

The cellphone tests were failed by a much bigger margin than driving while under the influence of alcohol. The good news is that you can put your cell phone down.

Texting While Driving

All distractions can endanger the driver's, passenger's and bystander's safety. Distractions can include activities like eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, using a navigational device and adjusting a radio or MP3 player. Using a cell phone or smartphone, especially to text requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver. It's said to be the most alarming and dangerous distraction.

In the United States, 9 percent of the drivers report that they text or e-mail regularly or fairly often while driving. The numbers jump to more than 25 percent within the 18- to 25-year-old group.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, in 2009, 5,474 people were killed on U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving.

Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.

During National Transportation Week, we encourage you to examine at your cell phone use on the road. Would your child be safer if you made changes and reduced distractions? Will you change your habits after reading this article? Tell us all about it!

Comments

I admit I get distracted by that dang phone. I might not be texting while driving, but I sure do reach for it if it rings, or hold it in my hand in anticipation of a stop so I can sneak a peak! This really made me think about how attached I am to that silly thing! And for what? It is not like there will be anything SO dire that I cannot wait until I reach my destination! I will think twice about this now.. and leave my phone in my purse, and away from my hands!

Now, the kid thing? My kids KNOW that they are to stay quiet and not bother the driver (Mom or Dad.) No screaming, no throwing, no spilling!!!! Of course, they are PERFECT angels and never disobey (haha!) but overall, they get the gist!