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Study: Moms in Overdrive More Likely to Commit Traffic Violations

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CARY — Imagine having a long list of errands to do with three kids in tow. Maria Morton does not have to imagine it -- she knows what it is like firsthand, and so do 5-year-old Caroline and twins Brittany and Bryant, 4.

Morton has managed hundreds of trips to the bank, post office and grocery store without sullying her clean driving record. But a Michigan research firm says she is in the minority. The firm's analysis concluded that busy, overworked mothers are more likely to commit traffic violations. They call the effect "Moms In Overdrive."

Morton understands how she could be part of a relatively hazardous category.

"I guess if you're in a hurry, I guess you could not pay attention," she says. "Or you're preoccupied with your kids in the back, and how much you have to do, you don't pay attention to the speed limit."

Cary is home to as many soccer moms and minivans as any local community, so how does the "Moms in Overdrive" theory match reality there? Not well.

"Our statistics show for the last five years that that group makes up about 10 percent of those involved in traffic citations for speeding," says Lt. Don Corr, who commands the town's traffic safety team. "We don't find it to be really high."

In fact, Cary Police say traffic violations are spread evenly across sex and age categories.

Police say the "Moms In Overdrive" survey is useful if it creates awareness -- awareness that no matter how crazy things get, the most important thing is reaching a destination safely.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Richard Adkins, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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