Distracted driving and the myth of multitasking

Distracted driving and the myth of multitasking

| Aug 5, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

It is not uncommon for drivers to overestimate their ability while behind the wheel and decide to pass the time. These additional tasks can quickly become distractions as motorists attempt to eat, drink, make phone calls, text, read email or adjust the GPS unit while driving at the same time. They are confident in their multitasking skills.

Unfortunately, modern psychological studies have proven there really is no such thing as multitasking. Instead, what our brains do is “task switching” which means one task is ignored in favor of another.

When a driver is distracted by various tasks, whatever he or she is doing at the moment takes precedence over safely operating the vehicle. People are, quite literally, switching focus from task to task. In fact, various studies agree on numerous points, including:

  • It takes more time to complete tasks while switching back and forth than if you complete them one at a time.
  • You make more errors when you switch between tasks than if you focus on them one at a time.
  • The more complex the tasks, the more chance for errors and slow downs.
  • Task switching involves several parts of the brain.

The studies suggest that some individuals get exceptionally good at switching back and forth between tasks. This doesn’t change the fact, however, that one task is being ignored in favor of another. A driver who begins eating breakfast while driving to school in the morning simply is not multitasking. The driver is simply ignoring the road while opening a food package.

Distracted drivers can cause serious collisions on the road. From front-end to rear-end to broadside collisions, a motor vehicle accident can lead to severe injuries. Vehicle occupants can suffer head injuries, paralysis and burn injuries depending on the factors included. If you were injured or have lost a loved one in an accident caused by a negligent driver, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney.