NRMA study: dont blow a fuse in front of the kids

By: Chris Smith

Nearly one third of parents have admitted to losing their cool in front of the kids when behind the wheel,

Nearly one third of parents have admitted to losing their cool in front of the kids when behind the wheel, new NRMA Insurance research reveals.

More than 70 percent of drivers who admitted to getting angry in front of their kids confessed to using bad language, more than 50 percent had yelled at other drivers and a third had used rude hand gestures.

NRMA Insurance Head of Research Robert McDonald says parents are being urged to stay cool and calm, especially during holiday periods.

"During the holidays, parents often spend countless hours in the car with kids, which can be stressful. Parents not only need to contend with other drivers but they have to supervise their children at the same time," he says.

When behind the wheel, it’s easy to forget kids can hear and see you when driving.

"Drivers often make outbursts and behave in ways that we probably wouldn’t consider normally acceptable in front of children.

"It’s essential that parents set a positive example in front of kids when behind the wheel and treat other drivers with respect and courtesy," McDonald says.

NRMA Insurance research has also found that the majority of drivers (60 percent) say children’s behaviour in vehicles left them feeling stressed and distracted.

"One in eight motorists said they’ve almost crashed and nearly one in five had swerved out of their lane because they were distracted by children’s antics in the back seat," McDonald says.

"If drivers are already feeling stressed and distracted by the behaviour of children in their car it’s not surprising that they are losing their cool in front of their kids."

The research indicates that siblings fighting and children interfering with the driver are the main causes of distraction.

"Although seemingly innocent, this behaviour can easily take a driver’s concentration away from the road. We encourage parents and carers to take steps to ensure children do not create distractions in the car," McDonald says.

Parents should spare a thought for the professional drivers who take their children to work and bring them home safely everyday.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook