Almost 70% of UK motorists claim to have been distracted by their children when travelling, according to a new study by Skoda.
An alarming one in four have nearly had an accident when driving due to being preoccupied by their children in the car.
With the school holidays and the potential for long family road trips just around the corner, the research has revealed the three most distracting behaviours that cause drivers to lose concentration behind the wheel.
The most off-putting behaviour in the car by their children was arguing, followed by crying, with screaming and fighting in the back seat the next on the list.
In order to deal with these distractions while driving, 53% of motorists said they had taken their eyes off the road to tell off their children.
Of those that did so, the majority (79%) said they had done so for up to 10 seconds while 11% did so for 11-20 seconds, and 4% admitted to not concentrating on the road for up to half a minute.
While many drivers accept that dealing with unruly, tired or argumentative passengers is part of family motoring, the distraction caused by mediating arguments and stopping fights has serious road safety implications.
According to collision data from the Department for Transport, in 2021 there were a total of 2,336 collisions with a contributing factor of ‘distraction in vehicle’, an average of more than six per day.
The highway code states that thinking distances before reacting, for drivers, range from six metres when travelling at 20mph, and increase to 21 metres at the national speed limit of 70mph. These reaction times would increase further if the driver isn’t focused fully on the road ahead.