As dangerous as it is to do, people won’t stop using their cell phone while driving. Even with an historic spike in traffic fatalities in the U.S, people continue to drive distracted. Surely, the one time the phone should be put away is when a parent is driving with their children as passengers. For many parents however, it is not a deterrent at all.

A new study just released found that half the parents used a cell phone while driving when children aged 4-10 were in the car. Here is the breakdown of what exactly the parents were doing on their phone while driving:

  • 52 percent talked on a hands-free phone
  • 47 percent talked on a hand-held phone
  • 33 percent read text messages
  • 26 percent sent text messages
  • 13 percent used social media

The research from the study also showed a correlation between using a cellphone with children in the car and other bad driving habits. Not wearing a seat belt and operating a car while under the influence of alcohol were at about the same levels of occurrence as cellphone use. This risky and cavalier attitude about safety while driving goes all the way to child restraint systems. The study revealed 14.5 percent of parents did not consistently engage the child restraint system while driving with children. Those same drivers who did not use the child restraints were the parents most likely to use their cell phones when driving.

Because technology is so convenient and easy to use, it is getting accessed constantly. This includes times when the mind should be focused on other things. If dangerous driving with kids in the vehicle and the continued rise in distracted driving crashes keep going up, what will the tipping point be to get driver’s full attention back on the road? Unfortunately, it might be a crash they are involved in due to distracted driving.