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Distracted Driving In Mothers Increase

Data collected from surveying more than two thousand women suggest a growing number of new moms give in to distractions behind the wheel.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Kelli Perigo falls into a demographic that's believed to be among the least focused on the road. Data collected from surveying more than 2,000 women suggests a growing number of "new moms" give in to distractions behind the wheel.

"So many people are distracted driving and certainly with new moms with children in the car with them perhaps lack of sleep, crying babies, or even happy babies can be distracting," states John Ezell, Freeman Intern Director for Emergency Services.

The study, conducted by child protection advocacy group "Safe Kids Worldwide", shows 78% of mothers with children under the age of 2 admit to talking on the phone while driving with their babies.

"I probably would have talked on my cell phone if it had just been me and now I am probably a lot more conscious of using safer techniques in the car if I have to use it at all," states Kelli Perigo, Mother.

It's a habit Perigo says she has learned to curb while carrying her precious cargo.

"I have Bluetooth technology in the car and always try to have my cell phone not by me and just make sure it's always connected to the car, so if I do need to make a call or something like that, i'm not using it with my hands," says Perigo.

While technology has an on-off switch, children do not. Emergency room professionals say moms have to take steps to be mentally strong in the face of distractions in the car.

"Need to train themselves to stay focused on the road and not try to take care of the child. Don't try to give it a bottle, don't try to put the pacifier in it's mouth while they are traveling," says Ezell.

"I always try with the baby, to find somewhere to pull over and try to take care of his needs the best I can, especially when I have both in the car," says Perigo.

Sadly, 10% of the mothers surveyed say they had been in at least one crash while driving with their baby. Emergency room doctors say keeping children safely in car seats and in the back of the car can cut down on distractions.
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