More than half of parents find driving with kids in the car distracting

Find driving with kids in the car a huge distraction? You’re not alone, with more than half of parents agreeing.

A survey by Nissan of 5,000 European parents holding a driving licence found 63 per cent struggle to fully focus on the road as a result of their kids’ back seat antics. Further still, 23 per cent say they know they’re less safe behind the wheel as a result.

As a result, some parents are looking towards cars with driving assistance technology — such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking — with 34 per cent admitting that such equipment is on their priority list when buying a new machine.

When it comes to behaviour parents find most distracting, kids throwing a tantrum topped the list with 65 per cent highlighting it as a concern. Other problems mentioned include children fighting each other in the car, mentioned by 58 per cent, and kicking the back of the driver’s seat — a problem for 49 per cent of parents.

In an effort to minimise distraction, 15 per cent of respondents said they avoid busy roads and motorways when their kids are in the car — while 37 per cent hand them a smartphone or tablet to keep them entertained.

Jean-Philippe Roux, general manager of crossovers for Nissan Europe, said: “Any parent knows that family outings aren’t always straightforward. The smallest passengers often bring the biggest surprises when you’re trying to concentrate on the road, which can create a stressful time for the parent behind the wheel.”