I’ve written before about my experiences with driving, and the fact that I only started lessons once I was pregnant with my first child. I had no interest in driving previously, and if I’m honest the whole driving thing is a chore still to this day, almost 15 years after passing my test. I have SO many worries when it comes to ferrying the kids around in the car, and it seems I’m not alone. According to a recent study from All Car Leasing, around 24% of parents are concerned about crashing their car, 21% of first-time parents are worried about getting lost with the baby in the car, and only 35% of new mums are happy to get back behind the wheel after giving birth. I can totally relate.
The survey also looks into the buying habits of new parents, with around 66% of new parents buying a new car when baby arrives. We did this too! And let me tell you, its so stressful trying to get used to a new car with a new baby in the back! Couple this with the fact that driving in a car is sometimes the best (and depending on the child, the ONLY!) way to get baby to sleep- 42% of those surveyed reported that they regularly used driving to help baby sleep- then you have a situation where driving is just unavoidable. And then you factor in the shopping trips (40% of parents say this is the number one reason why they drive with their baby), school runs, family visits… being on the road is just a part of life. And that’s the reason why I knew I needed to get better at being behind the wheel.
It’s so good to know that my worries and concerns about driving with the kids in the car are not abnormal, and knowing that I’m not alone in feeling this way is a small comfort. According to the Baby Driver survey,
- Other drivers are the biggest worry of driving parents
- Women are twice more likely as men to be worried about getting lost
- Older drivers were a lot less worried about driving with a baby in the car
- Drivers from central or north UK most worried about other drivers whereas drivers from the south were most worried about their own ability
and I just find this fascinating. I tick all of the above boxes!
The survey also looks into distractions whilst driving and I find this particularly interesting. Not many new parents realise just how difficult it can be to drive with a baby in the backseat. Are they warm enough? Why are they crying? Can I reach that toy they’ve dropped? Then it comes to needing to distract the baby from their distress at being in the car… 50% of those surveyed say they talk to their baby while driving, and 47% use toys to distract. Only 11% used no distractions at all, with 46% of parents in the north using music to distract.
What does all of this mean? Discovering that, according to the survey, one in four parents have had a car accident with their baby in the car makes for sobering reading. New babies are precious cargo, and there are so many reasons why driving can cause anxiety and worries. The results of this survey speak for themselves- see the infographic below for a more visual picture.