Can You Multitask While Driving?

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In our lives, we have been told that multitasking is important. In general, people are encouraged to multitask, particularly when they are trying to get work done. However, multitasking while driving can lead to devastating accidents. Yes, when a person operates a vehicle, they are expected to perform many tasks at once. However, multitasking has its limits. Here, we want to discuss what it means to multitask while operating a vehicle. In particular, we want to define multitasking, discuss how it affects driving, and highlight the general dangers of distracted driving.

What is Multitasking?

When we look at information available directly from the American Psychological Association, we can see that multitasking is defined in various ways. The APA defines multitasking as either:

  • Performing two tasks at the same time
  • Switching from one task to another
  • Working on two or more tasks rapidly

Looking at the base definition, multitasking refers to simply doing more than one thing at a time. We do this every day. For example, in the household, we often find ourselves cooking, sending a text message, and maybe even doing the laundry at the same time. At work, most people multitask in order to get their job done. However, multitasking may not be suitable for all areas in our life.

How Does Multitasking Affect Driving?

Studies have shown that multitasking does diminish our ability to do each of the individual tasks in top form. For example, if we try to focus on writing a paper while also cooking dinner, chances are that the outcome of both of those things will not be as good as it would have been had we done the two tasks separately and focused on one at a time.

When we are driving, anything other than focusing on the roadway takes our attention off the main task at hand. This is not good for safety. According to data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we can see that distracted driving is any activity “that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system – anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”

In other words, multitasking is considered distracted driving. Unfortunately, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents throughout the country.

Dangerous of Driving Distracted

Perhaps the CDC paints the clearest picture of how distracted driving can affect roadway safety. According to the CDC, sending or receiving a text message that takes a person’s eyes off the road for five seconds while they are traveling at 55 mph is like driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Of course, sending or receiving a text message is not the only way that multitasking can result in distracted driving. As mentioned above, eating or drinking in the vehicle, talking to other people on the vehicle, or even reaching for other objects around the vehicle and all be multitasking that creates risks.

Injured in a Crash with a Distracted Driver?

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, you need to speak to a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. A qualified and experienced Charleston car accident lawyer can use their resources to fully investigate these claims and help clients recover total compensation for their losses. An attorney will work diligently to obtain evidence that proves distracted driving, including mobile device records, vehicle “black box” data, statements from eyewitnesses, and more. The goal is to ensure that accident victims receive compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, pain and suffering damages, and more.