[3165.4] Distracted Drivers, at Risk Child Passengers
M.L. Macy, R.M. Cunningham, G.L. Freed. Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mi; Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit, Division of General Pediatrics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mi; Injury Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mi.
BACKGROUND: Distracted driving is an important factor in motor vehicle collisions (MVCs). Most distracted driving research has focused on texting among teen and young adult drivers. MVCs remain a leading cause of death for children yet little is known about distractions among those who drive child passengers.
OBJECTIVE: To describe distractions of those who drive child passengers and to examine associations between distracted driving and child passenger restraint in accordance with Michigan (MI) law and driver prior involvement in MVCs.
DESIGN/METHODS: Cross-sectional survey of parents and caregivers of children 1-12 years old treated in 2 MI emergency departments for any reason, 10/2011 - 5/2012. Drivers were asked how often in the past month they performed distracting activities: phone calls (handheld, hands-free); child-care (feed, pick up a dropped toy); parent self-care (grooming, eat); directions (navigation system, map); entertainment (changing CD or DVD) and texting while driving their child. Drivers reported child passenger restraint use and prior MVCs. Bivariate analyses were conducted.
RESULTS: Of 618 drivers surveyed, 575 (93%) completed all distracted driving items. Distractions from phone calls were most common and texts least common (Figure).
Drivers of child passengers NOT restrained in accordance with MI law more often reported child-care distractions (80% vs. 69%, p=0.016) and texting (24% vs. 13%, p=0.002) than drivers of child passengers restrained in accordance with MI law. Distracted driving was more often reported by drivers EVER in an MVC than drivers NEVER in an MVC (Table).
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