Distraction by children big cause of near misses, say drivers

Some 9% of drivers admit to crashing or near misses while trying to assist child sitting behind

A survey of almost 11,000 motorists found that 7.5 per cent of drivers had been involved in one collision or a near miss as a result of a child’s behaviour, with almost 2 per cent of drivers experiencing multiple incidents. File photograph: Getty Images

A survey of almost 11,000 motorists found that 7.5 per cent of drivers had been involved in one collision or a near miss as a result of a child’s behaviour, with almost 2 per cent of drivers experiencing multiple incidents. File photograph: Getty Images

 

Almost one in 10 drivers have had near misses while driving due to being distracted by children.

According to an AA survey, 9 per cent of drivers admit to having been involved in or narrowly avoiding a collision while attempting to assist a child sitting behind them.

Almost 2 per cent of drivers were involved in multiple incidents as a result of attending to a child in the car.

The survey found drivers in Ulster most likely to be distracted by a child in the car, with more than 10 per cent admitting to at least one collision or near miss.

The AA is urging parents to take all precautions necessary when travelling with children as back-to-school season gets under way.

The survey of almost 11,000 motorists found that 7.5 per cent of drivers had been involved in one collision or a near miss as a result of a child’s behaviour, with almost 2 per cent of drivers experiencing multiple incidents.

Drivers aged 36-45 are most likely to have been distracted by a child while driving, with just under 13 per cent reporting involvement in at least one collision or near miss as a result of a child’s behaviour.

While female drivers are more likely to be involved in one incident as a result of such distraction, they are slightly less likely than their male counterparts to be involved in multiple incidents.

Child misbehaviour

Child misbehaviour, sudden illnesses and issues with car restraints were among the most common ways in which youngsters had impacted on driver behaviour.

AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan said: “This is something that every single parent can relate to and it is desperately dangerous. Driving takes total concentration, but because the task is so familiar we tend to forget that.”

“Kids can be very distracting for a driver, so every family has to become used to proper car behaviour. We all know that is easier said than done - but if you make it your habit from the very start then kids will be used to it.”

The AA encouraged all drivers to indicate and pull into the hard shoulder or a suitable space at the side of the road if a child in the back of the car requires urgent assistance.