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Tampa’s Most Distracted Drivers May Surprise You

If you were to guess which drivers are the most distracted drivers in Tampa, you might think the answer is teenagers or college kids. While it’s still a good idea to watch out for them, you might also want to keep your eyes peeled for new moms on the road. The fact is, new mothers with newborn babies in their cars have a lot of distractions and other challenges that tend to impair their driving. Even worse, they think they’re being more cautious in the car, not less.

American Baby and Safe Kids Worldwide conducted a survey that demonstrates the risky behavior of many new moms. One of the biggest problems among new moms is fatigue. With an average of only 5 hours and 20 minutes of sleep each night, new moms might be even more tired than a college kid who enjoys the nightlife. It’s hard to blame new moms for being tired when you consider what they have to deal with, but that doesn’t change the fact that fatigued driving can be as dangerous as driving drunk.

Other risky behaviors of new moms in the car correlate to the general population. They are prone to ignoring the speed limit, texting, making and taking phone calls, checking their email, and more, all while behind the wheel. The survey found that three out of four moms used their phones while driving. It also found that 10 percent of new moms in the survey reported having an accident with their baby in the car, a rate three times higher than the general public.

One of the problems is that new moms instinctively turn around to tend to their babies while they’re still driving. If the baby cries or gurgles or does much of anything, it’s almost irresistible not to check and see. It doesn’t help that the baby’s car seat is supposed to face the rear while the mother is facing forward. Tragically, new moms end up putting their lives and the lives of their newborns at risk with these behaviors.

This unfortunate trend is likely a consequence of modern pressure. Too many moms find it financially untenable to stay at home with their kids, so they have to balance their roles as mothers and breadwinners and errand-runners. Even with the reality of life today, though, it’s not a fair trade-off to risk the lives of both new moms and their newborns. That’s why it’s important to minimize the distractions.

If you are a new mom, or you know one, be aware of these many possible distractions and try your best to avoid them in your own driving. Whenever possible, make sleep a priority so that you’re well rested for the road. Resist the temptation to make up for lost time in the car by checking your phone or eating breakfast. You don’t want to have to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa because of distracted driving.

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