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42 per cent of parents have discovered their kids have unbuckled their seatbelts in the back seats of cars, while 71 per cent admitted to looking around to check if they are buckled up while driving, according to new research by parenting website, Kidspot.com.au.

The survey also shows that 37 per cent of parents find that driving with children in the car is a stressful experience, which usually involves multiple potentially dangerous distractions on trips.

The research comes as the latest findings by the Monash University Accident Research Centre show that the most frequent interaction with kids in the backseats is to check them in the rear view mirror, taking the eyes of parents off the road.

The Monash findings also show that male drivers are distracted for longer periods of time by their children in the backseat than females, with the eyes of both sexes not on the road for 21 per cent of their drives. The research also found that children are 12 times more distracting than mobile phones in the car.

While about 98 per cent of the more than 13 million passenger cars in Australia have front seatbelt reminder and warnings systems, less than 10 per cent have them installed in the backseats.

Mr Andrew Leary, Managing Director of a new patented seatbelt and alert reminder system, BuckleMeUp®, said “The statistics clearly show that children in the back of cars can heighten driving risks as their parents become distracted by constantly ensuring they are buckled up and remain seated in the back seat.

“It is more shocking to note that 22 per cent of children killed in road accidents have not been buckled up, creating a real dilemma for parents and authorities about how best to deal with the issue”, concluded Mr Leary.