New moms may be riskier drivers

Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:50 AM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Most new moms say they're more cautious behind the wheel after giving birth, but their responses to a U.S. survey suggest they may take more risks.

The online survey of U.S. mothers was featured in a special report -- "Is Your Baby Safe on the Road?" -- in the January issue of American Baby and online at

Sixty-three percent of the new mothers said they're more cautious behind the wheel since having their baby, but nearly 10 percent of moms in the survey said they were in a crash while driving with their baby -- nearly three times higher than the rate among the general population.

"While we expect new moms to feel exhausted, we were shocked by their lack of focus while driving, especially when their baby or toddler is in the car," Dana Points, editor in chief of American Baby, said in a statement. "The combination of fatigue and distraction is a perfect storm where safety is concerned.

The survey found 78 percent of moms said they talked on the phone while driving with their kids, and 26 percent text or check email while driving with their child. Moms log an average of only 5 hours, 20 minutes of consecutive sleep nightly, slowing their reaction time.

Two-thirds of moms said it was tough to concentrate on a single task, like driving, and 55 percent admitting driving above the speed limit with their baby in the car when they're in a rush.

Sixty-four percent turned around to tend to their child's needs while driving.

The survey was conducted July 12-19 among 2,396 U.S. mothers with children age 2 and under. No margin of error was provided.

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