Parents who use cell phones while driving are also much more at risk for other unsafe driving behaviors like drunk driving or failing to wear seatbelts while driving that place them and their children at risk of an accident.
Those findings and others come from a survey of parents and caregivers conducted by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University Of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. The survey finds that far too many parents take the risks of distractions while driving, far too lightly. Approximately 760 parents participated in the survey. According to the survey, in the preceding three months:
- Approximately 50% of the parents admitted to using a cell phone while driving with children between the ages of four and 10
- Approximately 52% of parents had used a hands-free phone to have a conversation while driving with a young child in the car.
- 47% had used a hand-held phone to have a conversation while driving with a child in the car.
- Approximately 33% of parents had read text messages while driving with their children, while 26% had sent text messages.
- 7% or one in seven of the respondents admitted to using social media while driving with their children.
Such behavior simply increases the risk that parents will also indulge in other unsafe driving practices, like failure to wear seat belts while driving. As many as 14.5% of the parents in the survey admitted to failing to wear seatbelts while driving with their children. Drivers who reported failure to wear seatbelts consistently were much more likely to report engaging in the use of cell phones while driving. All types of cell phone-related behaviors seemed to increase if the person was not consistently wearing a seat belt while driving.
More interestingly, the survey found a link between parents who were much more likely to use a cell phone while driving, and an increased risk of driving while intoxicated.
You don’t have to be an auto safety expert to understand that using cell phones while driving is one of the more destructive practices, and shows disregard for your safety and the safety of occupants in your car. No conversation is important enough to risk your safety and the safety of those you love. Switch off your cell phone while driving.
The Indianapolis lawyers at Montross Miller represent persons who have been injured as a result of car accidents across Indiana.