Kids Cause Distracted Driving Accidents

We hear a lot of distracted driving these days. Most of what we hear is about drivers texting or posting to social media while they drive. So it might surprise you to hear that one of the worst distractions, today, is also one of the oldest. Having children in the car is 12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone, according to a recent Australian study. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, infants are nearly eight times more distracting than adult passengers.

Can Parents be Held Liable?

Yes, distracted drivers who cause accidents can be held liable, even if they were distracted by their children. Every driver’s first responsibility is to pay attention to the road. Having kids in the car does not change that. The most common distractions involving children are unnecessary, and include:

  • Turning around to interact with children in the back seat
  • Reaching into the back seat to give the child food and drinks
  • Picking up dropped objects for children
  • Playing with the child

It’s not always easy, but parents and caretakers can avoid all of these distractions by pulling over before tending to the child. It is their duty to everyone else on the road, and failing to do so puts the kids in danger too.

Determining and proving that a driver caused an accident because they were distracted by children in the vehicle isn’t easy. It’s not like texting and other device use where there is usually a record of the activity that can be used for evidence. However, an experienced auto accident attorney will thoroughly investigate and hunt down any evidence that exists. This can include:

  • Traffic camera images or footage
  • Footage caught on other cameras in the area
  • Witness statements
  • Pictures or videos taken by witnesses
  • Statements made by the at-fault driver at the scene of the accident

If you have been injured in an accident and believe that a distracted driver was to blame, please talk to an experienced auto accident attorney right away.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.