Think You're Great at Multi-Tasking While Driving? Think Again

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Most people are quite proud to say they excel at multi-tasking. They put it on their resumes, list it as one of their strengths during their annual review at work, and even brag about it to their friends who seem to struggle with juggling life's many obligations.

These are the people who also like to do other things while driving. They talk on their cell phones, apply makeup, eat their lunch, and engage in other similar distractions that draw their full attention away from the road.

The truth? Multi-tasking does not exist.

Contrary to popular belief, the human brain is not capable of multi-tasking. Instead, the brain rapidly switches between various cognitive activities, never being able to fully do two things at once. The National Safety Council notes that the classic example of chewing gum while walking feeds into the misconception that people can just as easily talk on their cell phones while driving. This does not hold up because walking and chewing gum involves a thinking task and a non-thinking task. Talking on the phone and driving are both thinking tasks, and thus, can't be done completely at the same time.

People who think they are multi-tasking while driving are actually considered to be distracted drivers and are a real hazard to other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists on the road. Luckily, Washington is one of the few states that actually has a total ban on using cell phones while driving—but that doesn't mean people always follow that rule. It also does not eliminate the dangerous behavior multi-taskers exhibit on the road when they are focusing on other tasks that take their attention away from driving safely.

Remember, multi-tasking does not really exist and you should never convince yourself that anything else is more important than safely operating your motor vehicle. When you stop paying full attention to what's happening on the road, you run the risk of injuring yourself and others in a serious car accident.

Were you injured by a distracted driver in the Seattle area? Contact Max Meyers Law for a free consultation by calling or 425-399-7000.