Most people assume they are safe, attentive, conscientious drivers. While that may be true the majority of the time, everyone has lapses in concentration and some more than others. But are most accidents caused by momentary lapses in judgment and attention, or do millions of drivers participate in unsafe driving behaviors the majority of the time they get behind the wheel? The following statistics hint that the problem may not be once-in-awhile mistakes, but inherently dangerous driving behaviors displayed every day in abundance. 93 percent of car collisions are caused by human error, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 40 percent of all traffic collisions involve the use of an electronic device, according to Automotive Fleet. 85 percent of fatal rollovers only involve one vehicle, which means that driver attention was lost or excessive speed was present in the majority of these cases, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. What does this mean in terms of driving with children in the car? Children, as explained below, are one of the greatest causes of distraction presented to a driver, and increase the chances of crashing by 15.6 times, according to a study done by Monash University researchers.
Monash Study Reveals That Children are 12 Times More Distracting Than Cell Phones
After following 12 families with children for three weeks, researchers at Monash University concluded that driving with children in the car is 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel. Researchers outfitted each family’s vehicles with hidden recording devices to monitor their driving behavior. They found that out of 90 trips made in total, the drivers became distracted from the children in 92 cases. Distraction included playing with the children, assisting the children, talking to the children, and taking eyes off the road to look at the children. In fact, drivers took their eyes off the road by looking at their children in the rearview mirror or by turning around to look at their children in 76.4 percent of the trips made. Not only that, but during the average trip of 16 minutes, drivers took their eyes off the road to look at their children an average of three minutes and 22 seconds, which equates to 20 percent of the drive time. Taking eyes off the road drastically increases reaction time and causes the driver to swerve or drift out of their lane.
Rate of Crashing and Properly Securing Children in Their Car Seats
Because talking on a cell phone while driving increases the rate of the driver being involved in a crash by 1.3 times, children in the car increases the chance of crashing by 15.6 times. One area of improvement that the Monash researchers suggested was to properly secure the children in their car seats. In 70 percent of the drives, children were not properly secured, which created distractions for the drivers. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, contact The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers today for legal assistance from one of our experienced California car accident attorneys.