Children as bad as alcohol
Squabbling kids extend reaction times
The report – carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) for insurers Direct Line – revealed that drivers' reactions times slowed by an average of 13% when squabbling kids were in the car, the same as for those who had drunk the 80mg/100ml legal limit for alcohol.
The reduction in reaction times is enough to add four metres to stopping distances when travelling at motorway speeds.
The research also found that the distraction of bickering children led to 40% more instances of hard braking, and increased stress levels by nearly a third. Previous research by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that stress also increases the likelihood of being in a collision.
Senior TRL researcher Dr Nick Reed said: 'There was a noticeable impairment to driving caused simply by the noise of arguing children. Precautions should be taken.'
How to survive kids and the summer
Direct Line has some tips on keeping kids happy, while you can also read our Summer Survival Guide.