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What's more distracting, your phone or your kids?

If you're going to try to avoid distracted driving, you have a lot of hurdles in front of you. Some distractions are easier to avoid than others. It's not hard to skip the drive-thru so that you don't eat behind the wheel or turn your cellphone off until you arrive at your destination.

But what if your kids at the distraction?

One study found that having children in the car with you is 12 times as distracting as breaking out your cellphone and making a call. That study, which recorded drivers and then analyzed when and why they were distracted, said that parents were looking away from the road for around three minutes and 22 seconds if they had kids. That was all during the course of just a 16-minute average trip, so they weren't watching the road almost 25 percent of the time they were driving.

You can't necessarily put an end to this distraction. You have to take your kids to school, to daycare, to their friends' houses or to after-school activities. When you do, the risk is going to rise.

It's important for parents to understand this risk, both to alter their own driving habits and to work with their kids to reduce distractions. For instance, maybe investing in tablet computers that the kids can use to watch movies actually is worth it since they then won't be distracting you and increasing the chances of a crash.

At the same time, it's important for other drivers to know what rights they have to financial compensation if they are hit and injured by distracted parents.

Source: Medical Daily, "Kids In Cars 12 Times More Distracting For Drivers Than Talking On Cell Phones," Chris Weller, accessed April 07, 2017

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