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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Driving With Children in the Backseat

Children in the Car Are More Distracting Than Cell Phones

Every day, the majority of Americans get behind the wheel of their vehicles and travel to work, to school, and to various stores. Though automobile manufacturers have significantly improved the safety features in many vehicles, the number of motor vehicle accidents continues to rise, largely due to distracted driving. When most of us think of distracted driving, we think about texting or talking on the phone. For parents, however, one of the most dangerous distractions is the presence of children in the car.

Most drivers would never dream of taking their eyes off of the road to send a text message, dig through the glove compartment, or study a map while their children are in the backseat. However, many parents do not think twice about attending to their child’s needs while driving. It is easy to turn off a cell phone and ignore text messages or emails, but it is difficult to ignore a crying baby or a fussy toddler. For example, a parent may reach into the backseat to feel for a sippy cup the child has dropped, or to hand the child a favorite toy. Engaging in such behaviors is often just as dangerous as texting while driving.

One mom said that she frequently “[drives] with my knees while I hand out breakfast and drinks like a flight attendant. I referee arguments. Once, I even reached back to deflect a car sick kid’s vomit out a window with a sun visor.” Though this mother tragically lost her own cousin in a car accident, she still has not changed her behavior. What’s worse—the cousin died while trying to get something off of the car floor for her child.

Recently, an Australian study noted that children were twelve times as distracting as cell phones. During a single sixteen-minute car trip, parents took their eyes off of the road for an average of three minutes and twenty-two seconds to address their children. On most occasions, the parents were looking at the children in the rear-view mirror or in the backseat. The child injury attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP are experienced in distracted driving accident claims of all types and fight aggressively to ensure that clients are compensated fairly.

Safety Tips for Driving with Children

As a parent or caretaker, it is not always possible to ignore a child in the car. Therefore, it is important to keep the following tips in mind to keep yourself and your little passengers safe:

  • Plan ahead: Pass out snacks before driving and keep toys close to your kids.
  • Pull over to address your children’s needs.
  • Be a good example: Your children will learn about driving safety from you—therefore, keep your eyes on the road and do not multitask.

What to do if Your Injured by a Distracted Driver

If you or someone you love has been injured by a distracted driver, we can help. We’ve helped thousands of victims recover the compensation they deserve. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation or by calling us at 516-358-6900. We’ll help you put your life back together.

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