Parenting is no joke. Some days, it takes everything that you have. It’s basically a full-time job with no days off.
If that sounds exhausting, remember that parents often have jobs, social lives, doctors’ appointments and many other things going on in their lives. It feels like life just hurdles on non-stop for years on end.
This can impact all areas of a person’s life, but one area that may not get the attention it deserves is distracted driving. Busy parents can become some of the most dangerous drivers on the road.
The crying baby
For instance, one man described driving home with a screaming baby in the car. He knew nothing was actually wrong, but parents are hardwired to want to care for their kids and get them to stop crying. That endless screaming creates an incredible amount of stress, even when they know it’s really nothing and it can wait. That knowledge does not help. He said that just a few minutes on the road felt like forever.
Moreover, he had two older kids in the car. They felt angry that the baby was screaming and began covering their ears and yelling so that they could hear each other. They also started getting mad themselves, demanding candy and other distractions.
As his children yelled his name and demanded his attention, was that father really paying as much attention to the road as he would have been if he was riding alone? It’s safe to say that he couldn’t focus nearly as well.
It doesn’t stop there. Even though his kids created the main distraction, he led a busy life. He couldn’t avoid other mental distractions, like thinking about what he had to do at work. As a teacher, he still had papers to grade at home.
Plus, it was already around 9 p.m. While that’s not late for a college student or a single adult, he felt exhausted already. He knew it would take a long time to get his kids out of the car and into bed. After that, he still had to do the grading and then somehow try to get to sleep himself. All to do it again the next day.
He started having a bit of a mental crisis, wondering why he’d chosen this life and if he could really cope with it all.
Of course, this is just one man’s example. But it helps to show just how difficult and distracting parenting can become in the car. We hear a lot about texting and driving, and it is dangerous, but parents like this man do not have to get their phones out to drive dangerously. Those who get injured in accidents they cause need to know their legal rights in Minnesota to compensation.