Parents who use cell phone in car put child passengers at risk

In the ongoing debate over distracted driving, there is a new study out that should serve as a wake up call in automotive traffic safety. As a Greenville South Carolina car wreck lawyer, I know that  parents who use their cell phone while they are in the car are putting their child passengers at risk.

In fact, a new study done by the University of Michigan found that 90 percent of parent drivers said they engaged in distracted drivers while their child was a passenger and the vehicle was moving. The study was done by an emergency physician at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Additionally, the study which was conducted in two Michigan emergency departments showed about two-thirds of the study’s respondents said they’ve talked on cellular phones while driving their child, which is consistent with other studies in the general population. About 15 percent of the study respondents said they’ve texted while driving their child.

The lead author of the study was Michelle L. Macy, M.D., M.S. an emergency medicine physician at the University of Michigan Children’s Hospital.

Interestingly, whether a driver engaged in a distraction also was significantly associated with the age of the child.

Also, another very important finding in the study was that participants admitted to other distractions for example giving food to children. Thus, there are more distractions than just cell phone or texting related distractions.

The lead author of the study, Macy said that drivers must be aware and consider “multiple sources of driver distraction when kids are passengers.  Giving food to a child or picking up a toy for a child not only requires a driver to take their hands off the wheel but also take their eyes off the road.”

More than 130,000 children younger than 13 are treated annually in U.S. emergency departments after motor-vehicle collision-related injuries.  About one in six fatal motor-vehicle collisions in the U.S. in 2008 resulted from driver distraction, and Macy says that over time that percentage has likely increased.

More and more towns are enacting ordinances banning distracted driving. The City of Greenville, SC just recently joined a long list of other municipalities in banning distracted driving.

Distracted driving represents a tremendous danger to everyone on the road. This study highlights the dangers of distracted driving to our most vulnerable, most fragile part of our society, our children. When it comes to driving, put down the phone, don’t bring food into the car, and keep your eyes on the road, for everyone’s safety.

If you are your family member has been a victim of distracted driving by another driver, please contact the Thomas Creech Law Offices today to discuss your legal options. Greenville South Carolina car wreck lawyer Thomas Creech represents families throughout South Carolina, including Greenville, SC, Spartanburg SC, Anderson SC, Pickens SC, and Oconee SC.. We offer a FREE consultation in personal injury cases.