Wednesday, January 7, 2015

“Are We There Yet?” - Drivers Distracted by Disruptive Children

During the holiday season, car travel is essential for many families who want to spend time with loved ones, or just take time off for a family vacation. While traffic delays, bad weather, or mechanical breakdowns can make driving dangerous, finding a way to entertain young children in the car is the biggest concern for many parents. While bored children and their pleas of “are we there yet?” can be annoying, bored and disruptive children can prove to be a bigger driving hazard, as they can lead to distracted driving and an inability to focus on the road, leading to accidents. Luckily, there are many ways to keep your children entertained, and to increase the happiness and safety of for everyone on your car trip.


The problem of bored and distracting children should be considered before leaving home. The age and patience of your children should be evaluated, to make sure you have enough things to amuse them for however long is needed. Popular sources of entertainment include laptops or other movie-playing devices, so you can bring along your child’s favorite movies. Books or magazines can also be used to combat boredom, but if your child has been carsick in the past, these should probably be avoided, since the combination of words and car movement may cause nausea. If silent reading isn’t an option, audiobooks or reading aloud is a good alternative, especially if you can find a book that the whole family will enjoy. If you have older children as well as younger ones, suggest that the older children read aloud to the younger ones. Similarly, music is a fun way to provide entertainment, and another way to engage everyone through singing or allowing children to pick favorite songs.

Another method is to buy some small toys, and give your child a new item at certain intervals if they go without complaining or being troublesome. This way, they will be rewarded for good behavior, have something to look forward to, and have something new to keep them occupied.  Examples of fun and easy car toys include figurines, magnetic playsets, paper dolls, coloring books, or modeling clay.  A collapsible travel desk or tray gives them something to play on and keep small toys contained. Frequent stops are also a good idea, particularly if you can find rest stops with playgrounds or parks, so the children can play outside and release some energy.

When driving with the potential distraction of children, it’s important to be extremely aware of other hazards. Since they will be extra distraction from the back seat, minor accidents could turn into more severe ones, due to the lack of focus or agitated driving. Be aware of traffic delays or other accidents on the road that could affect you. Keep on an eye on the forecast to make sure you are prepared for any rain, snow, ice, or other weather events that could make the roads dangerous or extend the amount of time you spend on the road. If you are focused, aware, and prepared, distractions might not have as big of an impact.


During the holidays, and throughout the year, it is important be mindful of any distractions that may arise while driving. Bored children can be easily dealt with through preparation and patience, and if you make an effort to entertain your child during long car rides, you can keep them happy, save your sanity, and keep your entire family safe from distractions to ensure that you have a pleasant trip.

If you are involved in a car accident and suspect that distracted driving may have contributed, please contact the Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900. Our experienced legal team will work with investigators who consider all factors to make sure that you receive just compensation for your injuries.  Our firm has the knowledge and resources to thoroughly represent your interest up to and including a civil trial.  We are available to meet with prospective clients to discuss their rights and options.  There is never a fee to consult about your possible case.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900