SEP 03, 2018 8:22 AM PDT

Multitasking and Distracted Driving: You're Not as Good as You Think You Are

Driving a car is something you have to focus on, completely. Regardless of how long you’ve been driving or how familiar the route is, being distracted while driving can be deadly. In the United States, 400,000 people are killed or injured every year in accidents that are related to distracted driving. Cell phones are part of the problem. According to one study, cell phones are used in 88% of car trips. While many states have laws about phone use, the problem continues. 
Distracted driving is actually a dangerous form of multitasking, at least as it relates to how the brain works. Some drivers insist they are good at multitasking, but in the mind, switching your focus from one task to another takes time, and sometimes all you have is a few seconds to avoid a crash. 

Part of the problem is overconfidence. In simulations, drivers who were on a phone call missed a lot of what was happening around them and when it was pointed out, many insisted that the objects they missed (stop signs, other cars) were not there at all. There is an inverse relationship between how confident someone is about their multitasking skills and how well they perform multiple tasks at once. Driving is an everyday occurrence for most people, so it’s vital to put all your effort into being safe on the road.

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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