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Parents who drive can be distracted drivers too

Distracted driving has long since become a national issue. It has spawned a number of safety campaigns and even legislation to help curb what has become a dangerous, yet mainstream, practice in Arizona and across the United States. While teen drivers appear to be the group most at risk, a recent study showed that even parents can be guilty of distracted driving

According to a new study conducted at the University of Michigan, 90 percent of driving parents surveyed admitted to taking part in at least one facet of distracted driving. This means that a driving parent ostensibly talked on a cell phone, had a meal, or sent text messages while behind the wheel with a child in the car with them.

What’s more troubling, researchers found that the younger the child, the less likely that a parent would admit to these types of infractions. Essentially, parents of toddlers and school-age children are more likely to report distractions that parents of infants.

Despite these ominous findings, one thing remains clear: Arizona drivers have a duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. This means that when driving, they have an obligation to use the same care a reasonable person would while driving. Basically, they must limit distractions so that they may quickly react to hazards that may come about.

If a driver fails to use reasonable care, and such a failure is found to be the cause of an accident, the offending driver could be held liable for the injuries and property damage stemming from the crash. 

Source: “Study: 90 percent of parents admit to distracted driving with child on board,” Amy Biolchini, April 30, 2014

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