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Why is multitasking dangerous while on the road?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | Personal Injury

In today’s fast-paced world, multitasking has become a norm in various aspects of people’s lives. However, when it comes to driving, attempting to juggle multiple tasks can have dire consequences.

Although some people may not realize it, maintaining road safety cannot happen if someone is dealing with distractions.

Diverted attention

Distracted driving killed 3,142 people in 2019. A major part of these distractions is people multitasking. When driving, this means someone is taking their focus away from the road.

Whether it is sending a text, adjusting the radio or eating part of a meal, these actions can significantly impair their ability to notice and respond to sudden changes in traffic conditions. Diverting attention from driving to another activity increases the chances of accidents.

Slower reaction times

When someone is multitasking, their brain needs time to switch between tasks. This delay in shifting their attention from one activity to another can result in slower reaction times.

If a pedestrian suddenly crosses the road or the vehicle in front of them stops abruptly, their delayed reaction could lead to a collision. Their brain needs to process information quickly when driving, and multitasking hinders this process.

Less awareness of other people

Multitasking diminishes people’s ability to be aware of their surroundings. Instead of focusing on the road, they might find themselves engrossed in other tasks. This reduced situational awareness can prevent them from noticing important cues such as traffic signs, signals and the behavior of other drivers. In turn, this can lead to wrong decisions and dangerous maneuvers.

Impaired judgment

Driving requires sound judgment and the ability to make split-second decisions. Multitasking impairs a driver’s cognitive functions, including judgment. For instance, attempting to read a text message while driving might seem like a harmless action. However, in reality, it significantly increases a person’s risk of a collision.

When potential hazards show up in front of a driver, every second counts. If someone is too immersed in looking at their phone or another object, they may not be able to swerve away from a preventable crash.