Young people often get blamed for distracted driving. When you see a PSA about distractions in the car, it probably features a high school student or a college student texting and driving. For many, that’s the main focus with distracted driving.
That bias is somewhat unfair, though. Everyone faces potential distractions. In fact, some studies have discovered that parents face an incredibly high level of distraction just from having the children in the car. It may not be the teen you need to worry about; it may be the young parent with a baby or a toddler in the back seat.
When you talk to parents about this, they list a seemingly endless line of distractions. For instance, some parents know that their children want to hear specific songs, so they spend the entire drive trying to adjust the stereo or look up the requested songs on their phone. Others have to give the children toys and snacks to keep them happy in the car. Worse yet, many children will drop these items on the floor. They can’t get them while properly strapped into a car seat, so they’ll yell for their parent to pick the item up. Too many parents try to twist and turn around to grab the items without slowing down, much less stopping the car on the side of the road.
Being a parent takes constant work, especially with young children. When that work stretches into the car, parents become some of the most dangerous drivers on the road.
If you get injured in an accident with a distracted parent, make sure you know what legal rights you have.