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Texting While Driving With Infants – Jan 31, 2013

We have written often on this blog regarding the obvious dangers regarding distracted driving and in particular the more recent dangers that have arisen from the increase in texting while driving.  The dramatic increase in hand held texting devices has had an undeniable negative impact on highway fatality and injury statistics.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drivers that are texting are twenty three times more likely to be involved in a crash than those that are not.   Furthermore, over 3000 highway fatalities are attributed to distracted driving each year in the United States.  Yet, despite these obvious dangers, a new survey by the Safe Kids Worldwide and American Baby magazine adds further alarm.

The study found that seventy eight percent of mothers driving with their children under the age of two, admitted to talking on the phone while driving. Twenty six percent of those mothers further admitted to texting and checking emails while transporting their young children by vehicle.  Roughly ten percent of the mothers noted that they had been in a crash while driving their children – which is three times higher than the general public’s crash rate.   Sixty five percent of these mothers surveyed believed they were safe drivers and more cautious after giving birth. It appears that they believe they are safe even while engaging in risky behaviors.

The value of the information gained from the survey is to hopefully alert young mothers, and those influential to them, to consider reevaluating their behaviors.  Traveling with an infant in a car seat can already be distracting, with mother’s turning around to deal with babies while driving. Please remind any young mothers that you might know, that eliminating their past texting habits may be the most important change they will ever make for themselves and their young family.

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