You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox


As a parent of two young children I certainly know what it’s like to try to concentrate while driving with two lively kids in the backseat.

If they’re not fighting with each other over the same toy, they are whining about how long the car trip is taking, or asking me to pick-up something they have dropped on the floor.

According to recent research, I’m not the only parent dealing with distracting children in the car; a survey of around 1500 parents Australia-wide asked about their driving behaviours with children in the vehicle.

Not surprisingly, most Australian parents admitted that their children distract them while behind the wheel.

The findings showed 76 per cent of Australian parents said their children distract them while behind the wheel, with mums (77 per cent) slightly more likely to be distracted than dads (76 per cent).

When asked to list their anti-distraction tactics, unsurprisingly, snacks and treats topped the list with 36 per cent of respondents saying it was one of their strategies.

This was followed by music (35 per cent); puzzles, books or toys (34 per cent); car games (27 per cent); smartphones or other electronic devices (27 per cent); singing songs (26 per cent) and inbuilt DVD players (19 per cent).

Some parents said there was no need for tactics because it only happened rarely or they could easily ignore their noisy children, while 2 per cent said they don’t have any tactics, but wished they did.

The findings also match-up with research by Monash University Accident Research Centre that found children are 12 times more distracting to a driver than talking on a mobile phone.

University researchers also found the average parent takes their eyes off the road for three minutes and 22 seconds during a 16-minute trip.

As a motor vehicle accident lawyer, I strongly urge parents to take steps to diminish how much of a distraction their children are in the car.

From my personal experience, the biggest key to avoiding distractions is to plan ahead, and prevent situations when the kids can distract you, particularly when taking a long trip.

Think ahead about which foods or forms of entertainment work well to keep your children occupied to minimise the level of distraction.

Importantly in-car distractions are a significant crash risk but it is not a good excuse to say your children distracted you if you cause an accident which hurts or kills someone.

A bit of planning before your trip can ensure you and your family arrive safely at your destination.

Find out where you stand for free in 2 – 3 minutes

If you or a family member have been injured in any kind of road accident, you might be entitled to a range of compensation benefits. Answer a few simple questions to find out where you stand and, if eligible, book a free appointment with one of our caring and experienced lawyers.

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

Thank you for your feedback.

Related blog posts

Compensation Law
30 years of the NSW Dust Diseases Tribunal

On 1 November 1989 Judge John O’Meally sat for the first time in the New South Wales Dust Diseases Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) when it heard its first case. This month, during Asbestos Awareness Month the Tribunal celebrated 30 years of operation. The Tribunal was created by the NSW Parliament after years of long delays in the Supreme Court and District Court which often saw plaintiffs suffering from dust diseases die before their cases could be heard. During the Second Reading Speech on 3 May 1989, Mr Dowd, the then NSW Attorney General said: Honourable members will be aware of the considerable delays that exist in the common law jurisdictions of both the Supreme Court and the...

Asbestos danger sign
Compensation Law
Is it legal to flash your headlights?

You know the old Aussie tradition: see a cop car or unmarked speed camera and flash your headlights to warn other drivers. But is it legal? And when can you use your headlights legally? We give you the basics. The legal purpose of headlights According to Section 215 of the Australian Road Rules (2006), low-beam headlights must be used for driving at night or in hazardous conditions that cause reduced visibility – playing a clear role in avoiding and preventing accidents. In fact, since the introduction of daytime running lamps (DRL) on vehicles in Australia, there has been a reduction of multiple vehicle injury accidents by up to 20 per cent and a reduction of fatal pedestrian accidents...

Car Headlights 628X290
Compensation Law
Abuse law and understanding the National Redress Scheme

The high-profile trial of Cardinal George Pell and his application for leave to appeal against the convictions being accepted by the High Court, as well as the Royal Commission in recent years, have shined a light on sex abuse in Australia. Bravehearts Foundation provides advice and support to those affected by child sexual assault. They provide child protection training and education programs, specialist child sexual assault counselling and support services. We have formed an alliance with Bravehearts Foundation who work very hard to prevent child sexual assault in our society. We have also linked up with Knowmore, who provide legal advice to abuse survivors by arming them with information...

We're here to help

Start your online claim check now. Or, if you have a question, get in touch with our team.