Local News

Study: New Moms Take Risks Behind Wheel

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — A surprising new survey reveals that new mothers are engaging in some pretty risky behaviors behind the wheel.

Specifically, new moms talk on the phone, text or check their email at an alarming rate while driving with their babies in the car.

The study was performed by a child-protection advocacy group Safe Kids Worldwide and American Baby magazine.

They surveyed nearly 2,400 new moms about their driving habits. Most of them — about 63 percent — said they are more cautious now that they have a little one in the car.

But 78 percent of mothers with children under two years old said they talk on the phone while driving with their babies.

And some 26 percent admitted to texting or checking their emails with their babies on board.

And cellphones aren’t the only distractions they’re facing. Nearly two-thirds of the moms surveyed said they’ve turned around to deal with their babies in the back seat.

Nearly 10 percent of the surveyed mothers, who drove an average of 150 miles a week, had been in a crash with their babies in the car.

That crash rate is nearly three times higher than the general public, and approaches the crash rate of teen drivers.

The idea for the study grew partly out of the personal experience of Laura Kalefhoff, executive editor of American Baby.

Back in 2007, she was in an accident with the then 9-month-old son in the car.

She said she knew she was too tired to be driving, and that her mind wasn’t on the road. She wondered if other mothers had experienced similar problems.