How Kids Cause Distracted Driving Accidents
According to CDC.gov, distracted driving accidents take the lives of nine people every day and injure more than 1,000. Distracted driving is driving while being distracted by another activity and greatly increases the chances of causing a motor vehicle accident. The two most common types of distracted driving involve using a smart phone and talking to passengers in the vehicle. Other types of distractions from inside the vehicle can increase the risk of distracted driving accidents; including the presence of children.
If you were injured in a distracted driving crash, contact a car accident attorney who can discuss your legal rights. The accident lawyer may be able to help you recover monetary compensation five to ten times higher than you could receive by negotiating on your own.
Kids cause distracted driving accident statistics
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, child passengers are four times as likely and infant passengers are eight times as likely to create distractions for drivers as adult passengers. In addition, some studies have found that drivers with children and/or infants in the car can be up to 12 times more distracted than drivers who are using cellphones while driving!
How kids cause distracted driving accidents
Here are some of the common behaviors exhibited by children that can increase the risk of distracted driving accidents:
- Asking for snacks, toys or wipes
- Asking for specific songs or stories to be played
- Fighting with siblings
- Roughhousing with siblings
How parents can reduce negative behaviors in the car
Parents learn to be prepared for driving with children pretty quickly. Here are some tips to keep children behaving well in the car:
- Keep the temperature comfortable
- Remove coats if your children tend to overheat
- Make sure the car seat straps are sitting comfortably
- Set expectations about roughhousing during car rides
- Provide each child with a snack and water bottle
- Let each child have a turn to choose the music they want played
- Provide tablets or play a movie on a screen for long trips
Washington State distracted driving laws
On Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Governor Jay Inslee signed a tougher distracted driving law for Washington State. The new law – aimed at cracking down on hand-held cell phone use while driving – was originally set to go into effect in 2019. To the delight of the safety advocates, Inslee vetoed the delayed start date in favor of a faster implementation in mid-July stating that the law was too important to wait for the provisions to become law.
The measure prohibits holding an electronic device – including phones, tablets and other electronic devices – while driving, including while in traffic or waiting for a traffic light to change. The measure does allow for “the minimal use of a finger” to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of a personal electronic device while driving. The current law only prohibits texting or holding a phone to the ear while driving.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!