Gridlock Guy: Driving with kids more dangerous than texting

Being the good son that I am, I called my mom first thing yesterday morning to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. It took her all of two minutes and 17 seconds to ask when my wife and I were going to have children.

I’ve been married for almost two years and it’s obvious that my mother is losing her patience when it comes to me supplying her with a grandchild. For the record, my wife and I do want to have children, we just aren’t in any rush right now. That explanation is never good enough for my mother though, so I am constantly tasked with coming up with new excuses to tell my mom why the next generation of Arums is on hold right now.

Luckily, yesterday morning I was prepared with a new reason why we haven’t had any kids yet — driving with kids in the car is more dangerous than talking on your cell phone when driving.

A recent study by CBS-TV in Chicago and a transportation researchers found that driving with young children in the car is 12 times more distracting than talking on your cell phone while an automobile.

The TV station asked four parents to be filmed while driving around with their children. The station then sent the footage to three transportation experts for review. Charlie Klauer, a transportation expert from Virginia Tech found that one mother of three was dangerously distracted from the road.

“Her ‘eyes off road’ time was at least 50 percent there for a good minute to two minutes,” Klauer said. “And that’s really dangerous.”

I remember being a child and causing enough havoc in the back seat that my mother or father was forced to turn around to deal with me. According to the studies experts, that is way more dangerous than talking on a cell phone while driving.

National Safety Council expert John Ulczycki observed one parent in the study that turned around while driving to deal with his son in the back seat.

“I wouldn’t have done that until the car was totally stopped.” Ulczycki said.

I’m sure there are parents and grandparents reading this right now that are having flashbacks to close calls they’ve had in the past. How many close calls have you had while driving because you were dealing with child issues in the car?

Just like eating and driving or texting and driving, children and driving can be a dangerous combination. Of course your children are and always should be your first priority. If possible do what the experts say to do; pull over to the side of the road, out of harm’s way, before you take care of parental matters.

Now, I just need another excuse why I haven’t had kids yet for the next time I talk to my mom.

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