When thinking of a cliche dangerous driver, someone in their 40s with two children probably isn’t your first thought. Odds are that you assume that the most dangerous drivers are teenagers, with their lack of experience, or the elderly, as their physical and mental skills decline. You assume middle-aged drivers are among the safest you’ll encounter.
This assumption does make sense on some levels — teens have the highest fatal crash rates, for instance — but there are dangers for any age group. In fact, some reports have suggested that parents are among the most dangerous drivers on the road.
The issue is simple: Distraction
As any parent of a toddler knows, they’re demanding. They only think about what they want and they want it immediately. They’re often very vocal about these demands.
This is problematic in the car. When children are yelling for snacks, toys, entertainment and more, a parent can have a hard time ignoring it. Not only are these demands distracting in their own right, but the parents often feel like they have to give in.
Say a child drops a toy on the floor and will not stop yelling that someone needs to pick it up. The child can’t reach it because of their seat belt, which is good, but the parent doesn’t have time to stop the car just to pick up a toy. Instead, they try to lean back, glance at the floor, and grab the toy while moving.
This is a manual distraction since they are no longer holding the wheel, it is a visual distraction because they are looking away from the road and it is a mental distraction because they’re thinking about what the child needs — or simply about those yells for help. Even if it’s only for a second, this is certainly more than enough to cause a serious accident.
Have you suffered injuries in a crash?
Driving dangers are everywhere, even where you would not expect them. If you suffer serious injuries in an accident, it is crucial for you to know how to seek compensation for medical bills and related costs.