If you’ve ever worried about keeping your children safe in the car and feel like sometimes they can get a bit out of control, you’re not alone – our recent survey has found that plenty of parents can sometimes feel like they’re being Driven To Distraction.A massive 96% of the parents we asked have, at one time or another, been unable to concentrate on driving due to the noise the kids are making. Whether it’s arguing with siblings or simply behaving badly, almost everyone we talked to has expressed their frustration at being distracted by noisy children – 2 in 10 even complained of being distracted by the kids throwing things around during car journeys!

More than half of parents surveyed have been distracted by kids spilling drinks or being sick in the car. For this we recommend taking regular breaks during long journeys so that the kids can get some fresh air and a proper drink; seven out of ten parents we asked make sure to take a rest break within two hours of hitting the road on longer journeys. It may also be advisable not to let particularly sensitive children read or play a video game on their handheld device, as this exacerbates the onset of motion sickness.

Sometimes the kids become so unruly that they risk their own safety during misbehaviour – with more than 50% of parents catching their child in the act of undoing their seatbelts or harnesses, and 83% of our respondents witnessing their child either trying to open the car door while in motion, leaning out of open car windows or otherwise trying to escape their seat.

So what can be done to prevent being driven to distraction? We’ve found that distracting the kids themselves can do the trick – with eight out of ten parents using music or videos to catch their attention, only a further two out of ten parents are prepared to surrender their choice of radio station to keep the kids entertained though. 60% have supplied the kids with a tablet computer or handheld gaming device while another 40% succumb to sugary treats as a way to keep the kids quiet – risky behaviour when you consider the effects of over-consumption! Meanwhile, 35% of parents have attempted the old favourite; a game of I Spy to while away the time spent travelling.

When asked about other concerns of the road, 53% say that there are not enough parent/child parking spaces for them to use at their convenience. It may be that the trip to the supermarket is enough of a carfuffle without worrying about where they’ll park at the end of it!

We were interested to hear that so much of the journey is down to the right choice of car. It needs gadgets, interiors that won’t get messy and of course the right driver behind the wheel!’s Smart Search can take care of most of these– but unfortunately we can’t promise a calm ride with the kids!

Katharine Blackburn


March 7, 2014