I admit. I’ve driven distracted, with my kids in the car.
I’ve started reminding myself that the two most precious things in the world to me are in the backseat whenever I feel the urge to do something while driving, and I’m doing much better. Like me, though, it appears lots of moms don’t stop multitasking once they get behind the wheel.
Good Housekeeping partnered with Yahoo Shine! to find out whether moms are multitasking during driving and 55% said yes. What’s distracting them?
- Listening to music
- Talking to another person in the car
- Eating or drinking
- Talking on a cell phone
- Sending or receiving text messages
One of the more common, and more dangerous, distractions cited was cell phone use. I live in Georgia, where we can still use our phones and are not required to use hands-free devices, so I’m guilty of driving and chatting on the phone, as are most of the people I know.
Cell phone use while driving is particularly pervasive: 59% of moms admit to answering their cell phones while driving at least sometimes — and a full quarter answer their phone often or every time it rings. Nearly half (48%) say they’ve made calls from behind the wheel at least occasionally, and nearly one in five make calls even more frequently. And yet, about 70% think chatting on a phone while driving is distracting. Research supports this opinion: Study after study confirm that using a phone while driving decreases reaction time, takes drivers’ eyes off the road, and leads to speed fluctuations and lane swerving — all of which add up to a greater likelihood of accidents.
Just 22% of moms admit to reading text messages or e-mails at least sometimes while driving, and 18% admit to sending them. This is much lower than the 77% who text while driving figure cited by Oprah when she kicked off her No Phone Zone campaign last year to get people to stop texting while driving. Either Oprah’s campaign is working, or some of the Good Housekeeping survey respondents were not telling the truth.
Finally, it turns out the stereotypical descriptions of women drivers did not hold up in the Good Housekeeping survey. Only 4% said they fix their hair or makeup.