Multitasking is so commonplace that people no longer think of it as a resume-worthy skill — because everybody seems to be doing it all the time.
Unfortunately, multitasking and driving are deadly combinations — texting or talking on the phone, for example, contributes to 64 percent of all vehicular accidents in this country.
The problem with texting and talking on the phone while driving is that it actually distracts drivers in three different ways:
- There is a cognitive distraction caused by the driver’s thoughts being preoccupied with whatever he or she is talking about on the phone, whether it’s in a phone call or in a text. That draws important mental functions away from sudden events on the road and makes it harder for a driver to concentrate on the traffic at hand.
- Cell phones are also visual distractions. Whether you have to dial the phone or hit a few buttons to send a quick test, your eyes go off the road. It only takes about three seconds worth of distraction for an accident to happen on the road. Compare that to texting — to read a single line of text takes the average individual around five seconds each.
- Whether you are texting or talking, cellphones are also a manual distraction. Even if you have a bluetooth on, you likely have to manipulate the earpiece at some point while you are driving — which leaves only one hand on the wheel if something happens. That slight difference in manual control can mean the difference between being able to swerve in time or getting into an accident.
One of the best ways that you can avoid getting into an accident is to simply turn your phone off and put it away while you’re behind the wheel.
However, you need to keep in mind the other distractions in the car. Set your radio to your favorite station before you get started and avoid common on-the-road distractions like eating while driving.
Even if you don’t let yourself get distracted while you drive, there’s always the possibility that you’ll be on the road with another driver who is — so be cautious if you see another driver talking, texting, eating or fiddling with a GPS or radio. If you do end up in an accident with a distracted driver, talk to an attorney today.
Source: Esurance, “3 types of distracted driving,” accessed July 14, 2017