Many people realize distracted driving collisions in Homestead and other Florida communities can be caused by mobile devices and texting, but few people see children as the culprits. Yet research shows that children are a major cause of distracted driving. According to a Monash University Accident Research Center, children can be up to 12 times more distracting than a cell phone.
Even worse, children are more vulnerable in a distracted driving collision. Their smaller bodies may be more impacted by a sideswipe accident or head-on crash. They may not know how to brace themselves or may be leaning out of their car seats or moving around, which can make their injuries worse.
How Distraction Happens
There are many ways children can cause distraction leading to a car crash:
- They may misbehave or try to climb out of their child seat: One of the most common causes of distraction for parent drivers is a misbehaving child. It’s difficult for parents to ignore a child throwing items around the car, crying, shouting, and otherwise acting out. As soon as the parent takes their focus and eyes off the road, however, a collision can happen.
- They may talk: Children often get bored and may want to engage in games, singing, or conversation. Unfortunately, this can mean parents are not thinking about driving.
- They may have a sudden need parents want to meet: A child may need to be changed, may start crying, or may need a snack. When small children suddenly need something, it can be hard for parents to maintain full focus on driving as they try to resolve the problem.
- They may play with the controls: Young children in the front seat may be fascinated by the gear shift, horn, wheel, and other parts of the car and may be tempted to try these parts of the car for themselves.
What You Can Do
You can put your cell phone away but not driving children around is obviously not an option. Instead, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk:
- Keep children in the back seat, where they can’t reach the dash or wheel
- Keep children in car safety seats until they age out to prevent them from moving all over the car
- Use child safety locks to prevent children from playing with the windows or opening the car while you’re driving
- Teach children about the importance of not distracting the driver and of being quiet
- Give children games or something to do while they’re in the backseat
- Have children watch movies or TV while in the car
- Have consequences in place in case your children misbehave
If you have been injured in a car collision in South Florida caused by a distracted parent driver, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Homestead car collision attorney. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience and can help you understand whether you have a case which allows you to seek damages for medical bills, car repairs, lost income, and other losses.