If you have ever spent time with a toddler, you likely know how demanding they can be. Even if you’ve not been in that situation, you’ve likely seen others struggle to keep up with their kids’ demands in restaurants, stores or on public transport.
So, it should come as no surprise to find out that toddlers can distract their parents in the car. Yet, when people talk about distracted driving, you rarely hear this mentioned. Perhaps it’s because, unlike something such as answering the phone or eating while driving, parents have little choice about taking their kids in the car with them. A cell phone or burger also won’t scream its head off at you to get attention. Through no fault of their own, these very young people can ultimately inspire distraction that can lead to devastating consequences.
Toddlers are much worse much more distracting passengers than infants
A recent survey found that parents of toddlers were more likely to do the following when driving than when their children were infants:
- 48% more likely to deal with toys
- 16% more likely to deal with drinks
- 26% more likely to deal with snacks
The survey also found that 40% of toddler parents had to deal with their children’s electronic devices and 53% had had to reach back and search for items their child had dropped in the rear. The parents surveyed admitted that their children had become much more distracting passengers than when they were infants – 69% said sibling interactions became more of a challenge and 67% said tantrums had become more of a distraction.
While no one expects parents of toddlers to ignore their children altogether, they still have a responsibility toward other road users. If they injure someone because they were distracted by their children, they should expect the injured party to claim compensation accordingly.