Can You Multitask While Driving?

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Can You Multitask While Driving?

Today many people do multiple tasks at the same time, such as surfing the internet, watching television and talking to friend on a cell phone. We call this multitasking. People even consider multitasking a valuable skill, given our fast-paced life styles.

However, not surprisingly, a study done by the American Psychological Association (APA) discovered that people don’t actually do two tasks at the same time. They switch back and forth between tasks. Switching back and forth between tasks requires extra time to readjust to the switched task. This added drain on attention actually can interfere with production and safety when it conflicts with environmental demands. For example, in the fraction of a second lost when alternately texting and driving a car, you can crash into something ─ another car, a tree or a pedestrian. In fact, for a car traveling at 30 miles per hour, that half a second can mean the difference between life and death. Such accidents based on distraction are easily avoided when drivers pay attention to the road.

According to an article in The Seattle Times, multitasking changes how people think and act and it undermines their ability to focus. Researchers say that the stimulation from multitasking provokes dopamine and a feeling of excitement, which can be addictive. When not multi-tasking, people who are used to multitasking can feel bored. Consequently, a driver may have a hard time resisting answering a cell phone, texting, putting on makeup or doing some other activity while driving.

Even so, multitasking is distracted driving and in an auto accident, lawyers do not have a hard time proving that a distracted driver was negligent. If you are injured in a car crash because of another driver’s multitasking, an auto accident attorney at John F. Hanzel, P.A. can help you recover compensation. Any observations of the other driver’s distracted actions, from you or another witness, can be helpful to your attorney when arguing your case.