Taking the wheel of a vehicle can be a more or less stressful thing for people, but when those people are parents, the anxiety can reach a whole new level. In fact, for 20% of motorists, driving with children in tow increases the anxiety level in regards to safety. And a top concern is the myriad ways that drivers can be distracted while out on the road.
This is according to a new study by Hyundai Canada, carried out in collaboration with the Ipsos firm. The automaker surveyed parents across the country – and even spoke with well-known TV personality Scott McGillivray! - to uncover the biggest worries when it comes to safety when driving.
“As a Dad to two young girls, I can relate to the every-day stresses of keeping your kids safe, that stress and worry is multiplied as soon as you get in to a car. I need a car that will keep my family safe…”
- Scott McGillivray, TV personality and father of two
Kids change everything
One of the striking finds of the survey is how much more motorists are worried about safety on the road once they become parents: 84% of respondents said their concerns increased. This is a strong enough worry, in fact, that the safety features included in a new vehicle now constitute a major decisional factor for car buyers.
Another big worry has to do with driver distraction in other vehicles on the road, with 80% of surveyed Canadians saying this is a concern. Other common worries cited include highway driving (41%), driving on roads with cycling lanes (37%) and parking within school zones (35%).
When children are on board, the most common worry for parents is simply the risk of a collision or accident (54%). This was followed in the survey results by distraction and bad driving habits of other motorists.
At the same time, only 12% of respondents felt their own distraction was a cause for worry, this despite half of them reporting using their smartphone while driving. That half grows to 61% when respondents are asked if they use their phone while stopped at a red light.
Which is to say that while parents are suitably concerned about safety on the road, they might want to be taking a closer look at their own behaviour if they want to help improve safety.