A new investigationi by Admiral Car Insurance has revealed a worrying number of parents are being driven to distraction when their kids are in the car and it’s putting them at risk of accidents. With staycations and road trips on the rise this summer, the insurance giant is urging families to be prepared before they set off behind the wheel to minimise their risk of being involved in an accident.
The research found that one in four (26%) parents always or very often feel distracted when driving with their kids in the car – whatever the age of their children. And over a fifth (22%) of parents have felt angry with their kids while driving.
Accidents caused by distracting kids
For more than a third (34%) of parent drivers, having children in the car is the biggest cause of distraction whilst driving.
Nearly one in five (18%) parents have experienced a near miss in the car thanks to
being distracted by their children, with this figure rising to 25% of parents with children
under the age of two.
The investigation found that 14% of drivers with children admitted to having a major
accident after being distracted by having kids in the car, rising to 20% of parent drivers
with children under the age of eight. Meanwhile, 16% of parents confessed to having a minor accident as a result of being distracted by their children in the car, and a further 16% admitted to scratching their alloys on the kerb after being distracted.
Type of accidents more likely for parent drivers
As part of the investigation, Admiral reviewed car insurance claims made by policyholders with children aged 16 and under to find out the types of accidents they were more frequently involved in, compared to non-parents.
The types of accident claims more frequent among parent drivers include:
• An accident in a car park
• Hitting a bollard while parking
• Hitting a lamp post
• Hitting an open car door
• Having someone else drive into their open car door
• Hitting a wall
• Hitting a post
• Hitting another parked car
Are we nearly there yet?
When asked about the specific distractions their children caused while in the car, parents rated car sickness the top cause of concern, followed closely by crying and siblings fighting.
But, for parents of the youngest children (aged under two), crying topped the list of the
biggest distractions on car journeys (60%), followed by kids dropping something in the
footwell (51%) and fighting with siblings (48%).
Dreading the drive
As well as putting drivers at risk of accidents, on average, 22% of parents confessed that
they completely dread or feel nervous about driving their kids on a long journey (more
than one hour) with this figure rising to one in three (33%) parents of children under the age of two.
One in 10 parents with kids said they completely dread driving other people’s children, and one in four (23%) said other people driving their own kids made them feel nervous.
In fact, some parents dislike driving children so much that they’d rather suffer a host of other passengers in their car. One in ten (9%) said a tipsy partner is a more appealing
passenger, 16% said they’d rather drive a critical parent and 14% stated a work colleague
with body odour would be a preferable passenger than their own kids.
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