Which would you rather hold tightly and keep safe: your child or your phone? Of course the answer for most St. Louis parents would be their children – or would it? According to a new study, about half of parents of young kids talk on their beloved phone while driving with their children in the vehicle.

As we all know (or should know), distracted driving is very risky driving behavior that too often leads to car wrecks, serious injuries and sometimes fatalities.

The study published in the Journal of Pediatrics contains other disturbing revelations, including the news that one out of three parents of children between the ages of 4 and 10 read text messages while they’re driving. And one in seven use social media while they’re behind the wheel.

It seems that some parents are more interested in their own online lives than in protecting the lives of their own kids.

Lead study author Catherine McDonald, a senior fellow with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention and an assistant professor of nursing said that risky behaviors are rarely isolated events. In fact, her study found that those parents who use their phones while driving with their kids in the car often engage in other risky driving behaviors, including failure to wear a seat belt, and probably worst of all, driving under the influence of alcohol.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident caused by an impaired or distracted driver, speak to an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation about your legal options to secure full compensation for all damages.