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Our Multitasking Lifestyles Lead to Dangerous Driving

Wouldn’t it be great if we could clone ourselves? Who wouldn’t want a second version of themselves to run errands or drop the kids off at soccer?

Unfortunately, science hasn’t advanced to make cloning possible, so people do what they think is the next best thing: multitask. While eating lunch, they answer emails. While typing up a letter, they also order a Christmas gift online. And while driving, they return phone calls or send text messages. Unfortunately, multitasking behind the wheel of a moving vehicle is a recipe for disaster.

The Human Brain Is Not Equipped to Multitask

Contrary to what you might think, most people are not good at multitasking. Instead of doing two tasks really well, they do two things at the same time rather poorly. Simply put, the human brain can switch back and forth between activities quickly, but your performance will suffer.

This is especially true of driving. According to CNN, adding even one more task such as listening to the radio while driving reduces the amount of your brain bandwidth dedicated to driving by about 37%.

Think of it this way: Instead of using more of your brain when you multitask, you simply steal part of it from one activity in order to do the second one. Instead of driving with both eyes open, close one. This is basically what you are doing by multitasking behind the wheel.

All told, only about 2% of the population excels at multitasking—so chances are you are not one of them. And studies have shown that those who think they are the best at multitasking are often the worst.

Distracted Driving

It’s one thing to multitask while sitting at your desk at work. It is quite another to try to do two things at once while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Not only do you risk injuring yourself, but you could cause devastating injuries to other people.

According to a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 9 people are killed each day by a distracted driver. Another 1,000 suffer an injury in a collision caused by a distracted driver.

Distracted driving can take many forms. For example, you might become distracted by:

  • Talking on the phone
  • Making a phone call
  • Sending or reading a text message
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Putting on makeup
  • Reaching for something on the passenger seat
  • Adjusting controls
  • Daydreaming
  • Talking with a passenger
  • Checking your GPS
  • Lighting a cigarette

Depending on your speed, you can travel a long distance in a very short amount of time. For example, you cover an entire football field while reading a text message for five seconds while going 55 miles per hour. Taking your eyes off the road for even a split second can lead to an accident. In that time, a child could run in front of your car or another vehicle could swerve into your lane.

Pay Attention While Driving

If you need to talk on the phone or send a text message, pull over to the side of the road before doing either. Some drivers wrongly think that they can use the phone while stopped at a red light, but that is a mistake. Instead, intersections are where some of the most serious accidents occur. If you are talking on the phone at an intersection, you might:

  • Miss a pedestrian who has stepped into the crosswalk right before the light changes. It is very easy to hit someone in this situation.
  • Not see the light change and get rear-ended by a vehicle following you.
  • Fail to see a vehicle running a red light across the intersection.

One reason people multitask is that they have not given themselves enough time to get to their destination, so they feel the need to eat and drink or brush their hair while in the car. If you plan enough time into your trip, however, you can accomplish these tasks while not driving.

Single-Tasking as an Alternative

Of course, no one intends to cause a collision, and few people really want to multitask. Instead, many people are struggling with jobs and families that require more and more of their time. Unfortunately, the number of hours in a day has not increased at the same rate as these demands. To really take control of your life, you need to commit to stop multitasking.

There is a way to get more work done in fewer hours. But it does not require that you try to juggle two things at once. Instead, you focus on one thing at a time in a process called “single-tasking.” The theory is that by focusing entirely on one task, you are able to perform it much faster and more accurately than you can if your mind is in two places at once. For example, instead of talking on the phone while driving, you should pull over and make all of your phone calls at once, back to back. By doing so, you will be more fully engaged in the conversation and can wrap them up much faster.

You can also engage in “chunking” by grouping tasks together to perform sequentially. For example, answer emails on your smartphone after finishing your phone calls.

If you absolutely must multitask, then make sure to do it anywhere except behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Instead, answer text messages while standing in line at the grocery store or eat your lunch while browsing for a holiday gift for your sister. Just always remain focused while driving.

Injured on the Road? Schedule a Consultation With the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

Distracted drivers cause catastrophic injuries daily, and unfortunately, there appears to be no end in sight. If you have suffered an injury at the hands of a distracted driver, you should consult a car accident lawyer to discuss your options. At the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our team of car accident attorneys in Clearwater is ready to help. Call 727-451-6900 or submit an email. Initial consultations are free.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727)451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/auto-accidents-attorneys/