The most dangerous thing in your car might be your kids

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Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
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The most dangerous thing in your car might be your kids

I caught a lot of heat a year or so ago when I said I essentially ignore my kids in the car because they are too distracting. A new Australian study has concluded that having kids in the car is 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone. The researchers studied what they called "eyes-off-the-road time," and found that most parents shifted their attention to the kids for more than three minutes of the tested 16-minute road trips. Read the full article here:
One of the Worst Driving Distractions on the Road: Your Kids - ABC News

I seem to recall that a lot of you on that other debate admitted that your kids are a distraction when you're driving. Children are the third-most common cause of car accidents in America, right behind cell phones & intoxication. Will this new information prompt you to change your ways?

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Im not sure what 'ways I need to change'. Not reaching behind you, and not adjusting your mirror to see the kids is completely different then ignoring them. Nowhere in that article did it suggest not speaking to your children or 'ignoring' them as a solution to being distracted. Probably because many of us find a crying baby or fighting children distracting weather we are talking to them or not.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I remember that debate! I will admit that I have thought about that debate several times while driving my kids since then.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I tried to strap them to the roof rack but that didn't go over very well with the neighbours (or the kids for that matter), so now I just ask them to pipe down and quit bugging me while I'm driving. Wink Works well enough.

In all seriousness, I have been very stern with the kids about not talking to me and otherwise distracting me while driving. They get it. Mom's driving so I'm not talking.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I don't remember that debate, could you link to it or elaborate what you mean by "change your ways".

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
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"Potter75" wrote:

I don't remember that debate, could you link to it or elaborate what you mean by "change your ways".

Melis, that might've been during your hip hiatus. I do remember that debate so since you don't remember (which like never happens) I think you weren't around for it.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

Read the report, still not "changing my ways" The only time kids ever put in a position that may cause an accident was the other day when a teenager blew a stop sign. I was able to not hit them despite 2 of my kids arguing about what color the easter bunny is, one complaining about the 2 arguing and 1 telling me a long complicated story about 11 year old girl drama.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

"ftmom" wrote:

Nowhere in that article did it suggest not speaking to your children or 'ignoring' them as a solution to being distracted.

But it does say that parents should set car rules so that kids know what to expect. "Mommy will not answer every single question you ask," should be one of those rules IMHO, and so should, "Mommy will not hand you anything unless the car is stopped." I think most kids (aside from small babies) are distracting not because they're kids, but because their parents don't set the expectation that they should not be distracting, kwim? My job is to drive and the kids need to let me do that job safely, and I enforce that by not getting involved in most of their interactions & discussions & requests.

ETA: we're talking about over 20% (3.37/16=21.06%) of your "driving" time being distracted. How is that acceptable?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

[QUOTE=Spacers]But it does say that parents should set car rules so that kids know what to expect. "Mommy will not answer every single question you ask," should be one of those rules IMHO, and so should, "Mommy will not hand you anything unless the car is stopped." I think most kids (aside from small babies) are distracting not because they're kids, but because their parents don't set the expectation that they should not be distracting, kwim? My job is to drive and the kids need

Oh, yeah, things like that are just rules for our life, not just car rules. My kids know patience and that they don't run the world all the time, that translates over to the car. I never hand them ANYTHING in the car as we don't drink or eat in the car and they don't have gadgets/electronics, so that is simple too. They know that we have a no shouting rule indoors, the car is considered indoors. Nothing special there either.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I found it, it was the NTSB advocating for a ban on all cell phone use in cars, including hands free.

http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboards/face-off-debate-arena-205/ntsb-ban-all-behind-wheel-cell-phone-use-even-hands-free-685629/

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I just think, in general, that people don't take driving seriously enough. Those who drive daily get very lax about turning around, looking at other things, playing with phones or the radio, etc. It's kids, it's phones, it's everything!

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Yeah, I'll stand by my position in that debate and my reply to Audra telling people to shut up and drive Smile

Audra, forgive me for laughing, but the whole "shut up and drive" thing is pretty funny after you talk about how often you do it.

They will have to legislate this before I will ever "shut up and drive". I love it! My kids are probably a bigger distraction than talking hands free. Sure hope no one tries to ban me from driving them around.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"Spacers" wrote:

But it does say that parents should set car rules so that kids know what to expect. "Mommy will not answer every single question you ask," should be one of those rules IMHO, and so should, "Mommy will not hand you anything unless the car is stopped." I think most kids (aside from small babies) are distracting not because they're kids, but because their parents don't set the expectation that they should not be distracting, kwim? My job is to drive and the kids need to let me do that job safely, and I enforce that by not getting involved in most of their interactions & discussions & requests.

ETA: we're talking about over 20% (3.37/16=21.06%) of your "driving" time being distracted. How is that acceptable?

Yes, but non of those things necessitate ignoring your kids IMO. Sure, not handing them things and passing things around. Not positioning the mirror to see them. I agree with those thing. But not ignoring your children, ever. If I can carry on a conversation with an adult and not be distracted from driving, then I can certainly carry on a conversation with a 3 year old. In fact, I find the kids to be less distracting if we are involved in conversation then when they are left to their own devices and I have to worry about them fighting or hurting the baby.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I love the talks we have in the car.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I have the BEST conversations in the car! I actually find the times I am in the car all by myself (very rare) to be when I get distracted. I got my first speeding ticket this last summer on my way to my softball game, by myself, windows down, sunroof open, music loud, totally distracted.

We have never done a lot of the handing things around in the car, unless we are on a long trip then I do it while DH is driving. I also have never had the mirrors that I could see them (they worry me if there was a wreck they would be a projectile) But I feel completely comfortable carrying on a conversation while driving.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
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DP

FLSunshineMom's picture
Joined: 06/07/06
Posts: 3859

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I tried to strap them to the roof rack but that didn't go over very well with the neighbours (or the kids for that matter), so now I just ask them to pipe down and quit bugging me while I'm driving. Wink Works well enough.

In all seriousness, I have been very stern with the kids about not talking to me and otherwise distracting me while driving. They get it. Mom's driving so I'm not talking.

"mom3girls" wrote:

Read the report, still not "changing my ways" The only time kids ever put in a position that may cause an accident was the other day when a teenager blew a stop sign. I was able to not hit them despite 2 of my kids arguing about what color the easter bunny is, one complaining about the 2 arguing and 1 telling me a long complicated story about 11 year old girl drama.

ROFL @ the bolded.

I have rubber arms, so no worries about handing my daughter things, when the situation calls for it.

All seriousness aside, (;)) I can't see myself totally ignoring my daughter, but she knows that there are times when I can't talk to her. That is saved for when there is little to no traffic, and then it's mostly her talking and me listening and giving one or two-word answers to 10,586 questions :rolleyes:

I appreciate this being brought up, though. It's a good reminder to be even more careful.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I can give a short answer to a question while driving, but I don't like conversations, per se. I get this imagery thing going on, like I start to engage my brain in the conversation about how those big airplanes actually stay up in the sky, and that "Now we're going up the hill!!!!! Now we're going down the hill!!!!" and I just prefer the kids to sing along to 'Moves Like Jagger' which comes out like 'Moooooooo......JAGGER!!!!!!!" and also is the only line they know. Lately Claire's been going "Mommy, what does that sign mean?" and I'm like "What sign?" and she goes "The one we just passed." :rolleyes: Gee, I don't know sweetie. Why don't we turn around and find the sign you're talking about? Really????? I just go "Psssshhhttt!!!! quiet!!!" and they stop jibber jabbering.