New Study Stresses the Dangers of Texting While Driving

Young woman using cell phone while driving car | Dangers of Texting While Driving

Posted on: September 10th, 2012

by peak

A new study confirms the danger of multi-tasking, specifically the dangers of texting while driving. The study which was published in a recent issue of
Computers in Human Behavior, found that multi-tasking two visual tasks, like texting and driving, hurts a person’s performance on both tasks, more so than multi-tasking a visual and an audio task, like driving and talking on the phone.

While not actually testing driving and texting, the study attempted to simulate a texting and driving scenario. Participants in the study were asked to complete two visual tasks at the same time-complete a puzzle on a computer and give someone else directions by text message. Other participants were asked to complete the computer puzzle while giving a person directions verbally over the phone.

The researchers found that both scenarios are dangerous but texting while driving is more dangerous than driving and talking on the phone. The study participants’ performance on the computer puzzle dropped 30 percent when they gave audio directions and 50 percent when they instant messaged directions.

There’s No Such Thing as Safe Texting and Driving

Interestingly, the study also revealed that people who multi-tasked two visual tasks were overconfident in their abilities and thought they were better at both tasks than they actually were – suggesting that people think they can realistically text and drive at the same time and they can’t.

Cell phone use while driving significantly impairs a person’s ability to drive safely. Multi-tasking while driving, referred to as distracted driving, is the cause of many car accidents. Those injured in car accidents because another person is driving while texting or talking on the phone, may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Source: PsychCentral.com, “Multi-Tasking Competence Varies with Tasks, Often Over-estimated,” Rick Nauert, July 24, 2012

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