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Are your kids making you a worse driver?

You may be a good driver generally, and you may even try to be especially cautious when your kids are in the car with you. However, many parents do not realize that, despite their intentions, they are worse drivers when they are transporting their children than when they are driving otherwise. 

What makes kids driving distractions?

Cellphone use gets most of the attention when it comes to distracted driving prevention. However, anything that takes the driver's eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off driving can be a dangerous distraction. Although parents and children may not realize it, children can be very distracting to a driver.

Some common kid-related distractions, include:

  • Passing out food or drinks
  • Picking up dropped items
  • Soothing fussy babies
  • Breaking up sibling squabbles
  • Collecting trash
  • Adjusting the music
  • Changing DVDs
  • Checking on kids in the rear-view mirror

How can parents make it safer to drive with kids?

It is unlikely that you can simply stop driving with your kids in the car, but there are other things you can do to keep everyone in your vehicle safe. For example, try to feed your kids a meal or a snack before driving. This can prevent you from handing out snack while driving, but it can also help prevent you from needing to collect food wrappers and other trash.

You may also consider declaring the car an argument-free zone. If arguments do break out between the kids, consider pulling over to a safe place until the argument can be resolved.

You may also make it a personal policy to avoid touching any technology while driving. You may adjust radio stations, DVD players and temperature controls before you begin driving. It can also be beneficial to stow your phone out of reach to avoid the temptation of using it while driving.

It can be challenging to avoid distractions when driving with children. However, being distraction-free can help you better react to unexpected driving hazards, which can help you keep everyone in the vehicle and on the roadway safe.

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