Distracted driver behaviors extend to those with children in car

Distracted driving is a problem in Connecticut and across the entire nation. Studies are an important factor in determining why drivers insist on doing it and under what circumstances it happens. This information can be useful when trying to put a stop to it. One study says that an unexpected group that engages in distracted driving is parents and caregivers with young children in the vehicle with them.

In the study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with 760 participants, it was found that around 33 percent read text messages while they were operating a motor vehicle and had a child ranging in age from 4 to 10 riding with them in the previous three months. One in seven had used their cellphones for social media purposes. This survey was limited to people who were 18 and older, and were the parent or consistent provider of care for a child 4 to 10-years-old. They must also have driven with the older child in their vehicle a minimum of six times in the previous three months.

More than 52 percent said they had spoken on their cellphone using a hands-free device with the child in the vehicle. Forty-seven percent had done so with a handheld device. Nearly 34 percent read texts and 27 percent sent texts. This is in addition to the 14 percent who were using social media. Because distracted drivers are believed to be the cause of 25 percent of crashes and, in 2015, there was a 5 percent increase in fatal accidents with people 14 and younger, this is worrisome.

Although this survey relates to people who are driving with a child in their vehicle and are taking part in these dangerous behaviors, at the same time it is an indicator that other drivers should be aware of the risks they face in encountering a distracted driver. If people are willing to drive while distracted with children in the car, then there is little restraint on the behavior overall. After an accident, there can be injuries and death with medical costs, lost wages and more. The other driver being distracted can be an important part of a successful case. Having help from a law firm that understands how to investigate car accidents is critical to a lawsuit. This is the first call that should be made to discuss a case.

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