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3 driving mistakes new moms make and how to avoid them

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It's no surprise new moms aren't always making the smartest decisions behind the wheel.

Motherhood is a new, exciting, and (at times) frightening experience. From caring for the baby, managing the day-to-day of household chores, and for some, working full-time, it's safe to say that new moms have their hands full.

So, it's no surprise that a recent survey shows new moms aren't always making the smartest choices behind the wheel. Let's pump the brakes to find out why.

American Baby and Safe Kids Worldwide partnered on a survey to expose the dangerous driving habits of moms with children under age two. The researchers polled nearly 2,400 mothers in a report called, "Is Your Baby Safe on the Road?"

The results were shocking.

In the survey, 73 percent of moms expressed they were more afraid of getting into accidents since giving birth. However, 63 percent of moms with children under the age of two practiced unsafe habits while driving. One safety expert even compared their unsafe habits to be akin to those of teenage drivers.

"While we expect new moms to feel exhausted, we were shocked by their lack of focus while driving, especially when their baby or toddler is in the car," Dana Points, Editor-in-Chief of American Baby, said in a press release. "The combination of fatigue and distraction is a perfect storm where safety is concerned. We hope that this report helps moms recognize and change their behavior behind the wheel."

Here are three of the driving mistakes new moms admitted to making, and ways to avoid them.

1.Exhausted behind the wheel. The poll revealed that moms average about five hours and 20 minutes of sleep at night. That's an hour and a half less than truck drivers!

Driving on very little sleep delays your reaction time on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 795 people died in 2017 because of drowsy driving. If you find yourself too exhausted to drive even when you think you aren't, stay home. If you are on the road fighting to stay awake, then pull over.

2.Multi-tasking on the road. Results from the survey also showed that 75 percent of new moms said their daily lives have become more flustered since having children, while two-thirds said they have a hard time concentrating on a single task like driving.

In an age where people cannot drive without doing other things, moms are eating, texting, talking, emailing, and attending to a crying baby while behind the wheel. That's a lot of distractions. Make small adjustments like eating before you leave and keeping your phone in your purse on the back seat to ensure that you and your precious cargo get to your destination safely.

3.Attending to a crying baby. You might have heard the wiser folk say, "they can't cry blood." This is true. The poll showed that 64 percent of moms had turned around to take care of their child while driving.

As a new mom, it's hard to turn a blind ear to your crying child. You immediately want to cradle them or give them their favorite binky, but when you're behind the wheel, it's best to tune them out. Reaching back to comfort them puts both of you at risk. If their crying becomes too much, then pull over.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to keeping our viewers accident-free, which is why we initiated the Drive Safe campaign. Steer clear of danger with our monthly tips.

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