As a parent, your child's safety is your top priority. From ensuring they eat healthy to keeping them away from danger, there is no limit to the lengths parents go to protect their children. However, when it comes to driving, many parents may not realize that they are putting their children's lives at risk by engaging in distracted driving behaviors.
In fact, I will be speaking at the Lifesavers Conference in Seattle about the importance of driving distraction-free, especially for new parents. The conference brings together experts from all over the country to discuss the latest trends and innovations in traffic safety. My session will focus on how distracted driving affects not only the driver but also the passengers and other road users.
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road. It can be texting, using a cell phone, eating, or even talking to passengers in the car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives in 2018 alone. This means that every day, nine people die, and 1,000 are injured in accidents involving distracted drivers.
As new parents, it's important to lead by example and drive distraction-free. Children are always watching and learning from their parents, wouldn't you agree? I often say when it comes to raising children, "more stuff is caught than taught." By driving safely and responsibly, you can instill good driving habits in your child from an early age. This will not only keep them safe but also reduce the likelihood that they will engage in distracted driving behaviors when they start driving themselves.
Here's a video tip I made about this very subject, check it out.
Furthermore, new parents have the added responsibility of ensuring their children's safety while on the road. One of the best ways to do this is by installing car seats correctly and ensuring that they are buckled up properly every time they are in the car. However, even with the best car seats, distracted driving can be dangerous. In the event of an accident, a child's life could be at risk if the driver is not focused on the road.
In conclusion, driving distraction-free is essential for everyone, but it's especially important for new parents. By setting a positive example and driving safely, you can protect your child's life now and teach them good driving habits to help save their life in the future.. Thank you for working to make our roads safer for everyone.
Thanks and as always, Dirve Safe Missoula
Steve Schmidt - Senior Community Health Specialists
Drive Safe Missoula Coordinator