Electronic devices, such as cell phones and tablets, which also utilize ear buds or headphones are very convenient, but can also be very dangerous if used while driving.
Other examples of distractions in the vehicle could be people talking too loud or screaming, eating while driving, or having the radio turned up too loud.
Tips for children
It is very important for children to always stay buckled in their booster seat or seat belt as it is the best defense against other unsafe drivers.
It is also important for children to talk quietly while in the vehicle and always speak up if the driver starts becoming distracted, such as using a cell phone, grabbing for a snack, etc.
One thing a child can do for the driver is offer to make the call or send the text for the driver, if needed, so his or hers full attention stays on the driving task.
Tips for parents/caregivers
Parents and caregivers can be a good role model for young riders by limiting the distractions while driving. They can turn off or silent their electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive. They can also sign up with their phone company to install the app that will refuse texts or calls to come in while driving.
Parents and caregivers who are behind the wheel get distracted by many of the same things as other drivers. Yet, having children in the car can create additional distractions that can lead to dangerous crashes.
Distracted driving might occur with children in a vehicle as a result of the following scenarios:
- A parent trying to help children eat and drink in the vehicle including digging snacks and juice boxes out of a purse or tote bag, helping children open packaging, and dealing with potential spills while driving.
- A parent listening or mediating when children are fighting or whining.
- A parent running late because of children, so they brush hair, put on makeup, or tend to other personal grooming while driving.
- A parent reaches on the floor or in the back seat because a child dropped an item.
- A parent adjusts the radio or music for children while driving.
- A parent making a phone call, texting, or checking email while driving.
It is up to all of us to use safe driving practices and avoid distractions in order to keep us all safe on the roads.