Survey: 25% of new moms text and drive

More than 75% talk on cellphones while driving, survey says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - By nature, new moms are protective of their young children. But a newly released survey shows many are putting their babies in danger.

The survey from Safe Kids Worldwide suggests that a majority of new moms are using their cellphones with their child in the car, even texting and checking email.

Two-day-old Willow Simmons was getting ready to go home Wednesday for the first time ever, and her mom, Tiffany, has been all about showing her off from her room at Baptist Medical Center. She's been on her phone sending out pictures of her "bundle of joy" to friends and family.

But she says she will not be touching that phone while she's driving.

"I have no need to do that," she said.

Tiffany doesn't have a lot of company there. According to the Safe Kids Worldwide survey, more than 75 percent of new mothers admit to talking on the phone with children younger than 2 in the car. And about a quarter say they text and check email.

Jessica Winberry, of the Players Center for Child Health, a local arm of Safe Kids, works to educate new parents about safety issues. And avoiding using a cellphone while driving is an important one.

"I think if parents really understood what kind of risk they're putting their child in, they don't really want to do that. It's just become part of our society," Winberry said.

For those who are being honest, many will admit that when they hear that notification, it's very tempting to pick up the phone, even when they know they shouldn't. Not only that, but new mothers also have many other distractions.

They are often tired and worried about a lot of things at once, and talking on the phone and texting while driving can be a potentially fatal combination, so says Channel 4 safety analyst Ken Jefferson, who believes it's time to make it illegal to text and drive.

"It may even come a point in time where I push for that legislation simply because I see the importance of it," Jefferson said. "I see how not texting and driving could save lives."

Banning it is not a problem for new mom Tiffany Williams.

"It's unsafe to text and drive," she said.

Most people would agree with that. The recommendations? Leave your cellphone in the back seat and pull over if you need to use it. Whoever's texting you can wait for your response.

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