The results of a recent study say driving with your kids may be more hazardous than driving with your cell phone.
According to a Nightline report, the study out of Australia finds kids are 12 times more distracting than messing around on your phone.
KIRO Radio Anchor Kim Shepard says just last night she struggled to maintain focus on the road with a whining 2-year-old who missed a nap and two little girls bickering about dinner.
“I was thinking as I was driving down the road, ‘this cannot be safe. They are just so distracting.'”
Keeping kids occupied and quiet on the road is not a new challenge for parents, though a few of the methods employed in years past might not fly today.
“When I was growing up, they would throw us all into the tailgate of the Rambler, seat belts weren’t required and we’d just have to amuse ourselves,” says Ross and Burbank host Dave Ross.
Co-host Luke Burbank came from a big family and his parents also had unique methods.
“We had a Ford Fairmont and we had so many kids somebody had to ride in what was called the “way back.” It had no seat belts. It had no seat. There’d be one or two kids in the way back, and if you were being a jerk, the move would be just to go over a speed bump and then you’d shut up pretty quickly.”
Compounding the challenge of dealing with kids in the cars, Burbank observes, is today’s kids have to ride in the back.
“All the data is your kids have to be 11 rows behind you in the car, or else you’re trying to kill them apparently. So now if you have to deal with them, you by definition have to turn around,” says Burbank.
“Dads are doing that reach-over swat. Reach over the seat and just like run your arm back and forth trying to separate the kids or give one of them a thump on the leg, like ‘leave your brother alone.’ It’s a distracting move.”
Ross says maybe it’s time to think about one of those in-car partitions.
“Just put a barrier like they have in police cars. Just put a fence between you and the backseat.”
There might be one easier solution. Kim says her husband has found an amazing trick that works for their kids.
“He has an Ella Fitzgerald CD and I don’t know why, but he claims, and I’ve seen it happen a couple of times, that every time he puts that on in the car, the kids are silent and they just love to listen to it.”
So Ella Fitzgerald or cop partition, it’s up to you.