Are Kids a Distraction Behind the Wheel?

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Distracted driving can take many shapes and forms in today’s world, from a distracting phone call to eating a sandwich behind the wheel. Even adjusting volume on a stereo or changing songs can be a distraction that can impair your judgment and reaction time. It’s controversial but do kids count as a distraction behind the wheel?

Every parent knows this scenario—you’re running late with kids in the backseat. The newborn is crying. The toddler dropped their food. If you have a teenager, they’re playing games on their phone or asking you to turn up the music. All of these occurrences can lead to major distraction if you’re not a careful, self-aware driver.

Other distracting scenarios? Kids fighting in the backseat, children throwing objects toward the front seat because they are unaware of their surrounds, fiddling with seat belts and safety features, or worse, a child in the passenger seat reaching for the driver’s wheel. Perhaps kids are inherently distractions to safe driving, but it’s important to consider that the many Americans with kids drive safely and without issue to and from their destinations every single day without issue.

Distraction, therefore, becomes truly dangerous when the distracting event meets an unforeseen circumstance. For example, your toddler screams just as the car in front of you suddenly brakes. Or your child is having a health issue in the backseat, forcing you to veer dangerously off the road. The scenarios possible here are infinite.

At Franco Law Firm, we see many cases of distracting driving a year. When driving with kids, it’s important to take special precautions knowing children can significantly impair even the safest driver.


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