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Squabbling children are car crash risk

MOTORISTS on family trips were warned today to beware a potentially serious traffic hazard -- their own children.

Almost one-in-six parents admitted that being distracted by their children has led to a collision or a 'near miss'.

A survey by the AA revealed 16pc of drivers have been involved in crashes or near misses while travelling with their children.

Drivers who turn around to scold children in the back seat are putting lives at risk.

The survey of more than 10,000 parents showed the grim potential of a lack of discipline on family journeys.

AA spokesman Conor Faughnan urged drivers to pull over to the side of the road if they need to correct the behaviour of young passengers.

"As any parent knows, it can be extremely stressful travelling with young children in the car. Toys get dropped, tantrums happen, children get ill and so on," he said.

"It can be a real test of concentration levels and the natural instinct is to turn around. If your little darlings do act up, take a deep breathand find somewhere safe to pull in," he said.

The AA has released a list of suggestions for travelling parents to keep their children occupied on journeys. One tip is the old standby game called 'I Spy.'

Also, providing hand-held games consoles has proved to keep them occupied.

Playing an audio book can also help the children stay settled and has the benefit of providing the whole family with a shared experience.