Study: Many drivers engaged in risky driving behavior

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May 6, 2013, 7:12 am
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(NBC News: Erika Edwards) - Parents take their time safely strapping kids in the car before driving, but a majority immediately do something unsafe once they hit the gas.

"I'm always pressed for time, so if I can send a message or answer a phone call or talk to somebody while I'm en route then I can do two things at once," said parent Chris Dixon-Barone.

"Certainly when stopped at stoplights, yeah, check an email and things, but not while driving," said parent Adam Solomon.

Researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed parents about ten common distractions while driving, including talking on the phone, using a GPS, applying makeup and feeding kids.

"We only had 46 parents out of the 575 who said they didn't do any of the distractions that we had listed," said Michelle Macy of the University of Michigan.

More than seventy percent said they had used a cell phone at least once in the past month while driving with their kids.

"If there's anything that is going on in the car while a parent is driving that is going to take their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road its really increasing the risk of crashes," said Macy.

To decrease that risk, many conscientious parents restrict access to their phones while carrying precious cargo.

"I try to keep my phone turned off before I even get in the car, and that way you don't even know if it goes off," said parent Cameron Cannon.

"I put it in my glove compartment and then I leave it there until I get home."

Backseat drivers are also keeping parents in line.

Parent Bryn Lamanna said, "Even if I look at the phone, even if its directions, "put it down mom it’s against the law", so I've got the police in my own car, haha."

Tags: drivers, driving, risk, Dangerous, Erika Edwards, behavior, distraction
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