Kids are the Worst Driving Distraction, Study Shows

If you’ve ever driven with little kids in your car, you can probably attest to the results of an Australian study that showed children are among the worst driving distractions on the road.

The one-of-a-kind study recorded parent drivers with their children aged 1 to 8 in the car. They found that drivers who have children in their car are 12 times more distracted by the little ones than they are talking on their cell phones. On average the parents took their eyes off the road for a dangerous three minutes and 22 seconds during a 16-minute trip, according to ABC News.

When it comes to the difference between moms and dads, the study found men to be distracted more often and for longer periods of time than women.

Other scary stats the study found included drivers partaking in the following behaviors while driving with their kids, according to

  • 76.4% of the drivers turned to look at the backseat passengers or viewed them in the rearview mirror
  • 16% talked to their children in the backseat
  • 7% helped their children (by passing food and drinks)
  • 1% played with their kids

Other things many parents might find themselves doing is picking up toys the kids have dropped, intervening and settling argument between kids and trying to calm down a crying, unruly child, all while pressing the gas pedal.

If any of these scenarios ring true for you, experts suggest some solutions to make your time on the road safer with your precious cargo.

First, set some ground rules and let the children know what to expect. Tell them if they drop a toy, you can’t reach for it until the car is at a complete stop.

If kids are getting out of control and you have to intervene, pull over and then deal with the situation.

To help keep kids busy and out of your hair, provide coloring books or toys. Snack are also good options to keep them occupied.

Feature Image by ABC news

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