A new survey has found that new mothers have been talking, texting and checking email at a pretty alarming rate while driving with their new babies in the car. According to the survey, 78% of mothers with children under the age of two acknowledge talking on the phone while driving with their babies. Another 26% admitted to texting and checking email while driving.
Distracted mother survey
Safe Kids Worldwide and American Baby Magazine conducted the survey and, according the report, were surprised to find that new mothers’ behavior rivals that of teenage drivers. They also noted that while cell phones were the main distraction, nearly two-thirds of the mothers said they turned around to deal with their baby in the back seat while driving. The survey had 2,396 mothers and most of them noted that they think they are safe drivers but engage in risky behavior. Among the mothers surveyed, 63% stated they are more cautious behind the wheel since giving birth, but it’s not reflected in their behavior. This is alarming since most think they are driving safely. Out of these mothers, 10% of those who drove an average of 150 miles per week admitted to having been in a crash while driving with their babies. That number is nearly three times higher than that of the general public and is close to the crash rate of teen drivers.
Why do we drive with distractions?
Despite tons of studies showing the increased risk a driver puts themselves, their children and other passengers in by driving distracted, we still do it. Experts say that laws are the key. These laws have to be enforceable laws. The texting ban of all drivers was enacted in July 2010. Distracted driving citations are $25 for first offense and then $50 plus court costs. In my opinion, Kentucky’s texting law is all but unenforceable and the fine is nominal. I don’t believe it has enough impact to change this dangerous behavior and prevent serious car accidents. If new mothers won’t change their dangerous behaviors, how can we hope this law will do it?