The modern mom is always busy with something, whether it’s picking their kids up from school, dropping them off at soccer practice, or running errands. However, It can be difficult to parent while driving. Parents with kids have an 87% chance of being distracted, and If a parent reaches for an object, they are 8x more likely to crash. To stay safe while driving, avoid these mistakes.
Mistake One: Child-Safety Seat Confusion
According to the NHTSA, a staggering 58% of Moms find installing car seats difficult, and 6 in 10 Moms don’t get their baby’s child safety seats checked by a professional. If installed properly, a child safety seat can reduce fatal injuries by 71%, but still, 81.6% of all child restraints are misused, with an average of 3 errors per restraint. In rear and front-facing infant seats:
- Safety belts don’t lock tightly on 62% of rear-facing seats and 67% on front-facing seats.
- Harness straps are loose for 65% of rear-facing seats and 67% of front-facing seats.
On safety belts, the shoulder belt isn’t over the center shoulder 78.9% of the time, the child’s legs can’t bend over the seat without slouching 75.1% of the time, and the belt doesn’t lap over the child’s upper thighs 70.6% of the time. To keep your child safe, check their safety seat.
Mistake Two: Lack of Seat Belt for Mom
Moms may not buckle up, so they have a quick and easy way to reach their children, but doing so could put them at risk. 15,000 lives are saved each year by seat belts, and raising the seat belt use rate to 90% would save 4,000 more lives. If you drive an SUV, seat belts are 80% effective at reducing fatalities and prevent drivers from being ejected during a crash.
Mistake Three: Driving on no Sleep
A survey done by Parents found that most Moms get an average of 5 hours and 20 minutes of sleep per night, which isn’t enough for the nearly 150 miles a parent may drive per week. The NHTSA states that driving while tired comes with the same risks as driving drunk, and listening to music or opening a window won’t cure your tired eyes or improve your reaction time.
With over 56,000 crashes a year being attributed to falling asleep while driving, it’s crucial for tired Moms to pull off on the side of the road if they feel sleepy or avoid leaving home at all.
Mistake Four: Distracted Driving Rates are High
Distracted driving kills millions of people per year, but Moms are just as likely to be distracted while driving as teens. An American Baby & Safe Kids Worldwide survey found that
- 78% of Moms talk on the phone while driving with kids in the car.
- 75% of Moms state they’re more distracted day-to-day after having children.
- ⅔ of Moms find it challenging to concentrate on one task while driving.
- 55% of Moms go above the speed limit if they’re rushing.
- 64% of Moms turned around while driving to care for their children.
- 10% of new Mothers have been in a car accident while with their baby.
To keep distractions to a minimum, put the phone away and pull over on the side of the road if your children need your care. It’s better than crashing and potentially injuring you and your child.
Mistake Five: Leaving Babies Alone in the Car
Since a child’s body can’t regulate their body temperature as well as an adult’s, and even a few minutes in a hot or cold car could be fatal. In many states, it’s actually illegal to leave your child in the vehicle unattended. If you’re a Mom that sometimes forgets to bring their child inside a shop for a quick pop-in, leave your bag in the backseat, as you’ll need it when you arrive.