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Study: Most parents drive distracted with child in car

A poll of 618 parents found that almost 90 percent of them multitask while behind the wheel, even with kids in the car.


Many parents apparently still aren't getting the message about the dangers of distracted driving.

Among 618 parents surveyed for a study out today from the American Academy of Pediatrics, almost 90 percent of them admitted to chatting on the phone, texting, fiddling with the GPS, or doing other things while driving with their children in the car.

The parents who participated in the poll were asked specifically how often they engaged in distracting activities while driving with their child over the last month. Those activities included talking or texting on a cell phone, surfing the Internet, finding directions on a GPS or map, and changing a CD or DVD, as well as eating or grooming, and taking care of their child.

Most of the parents said they engaged in four out of the ten activities. Chatting on the phone was the most common distraction, while texting was the least common. Parents who admitted to distracted driving were also more likely to have reported being in a car accident.

"Lots of attention has been given to distracted teen drivers," Michelle Macy, lead author of the study, said in a statement. "However, our results indicate parents are frequently distracted while driving their 1- to 12-year-old children, and these distracted drivers were more likely to have been in a crash."

American Academy of Pediatrics