I now live in a fairly small town and have noticed how many people drive and talk on their cell phones. Without fail, when someone is driving erratically, too slow in a lane or crossing over the mid line, I look, and yes, the person is talking on the phone.
Researchers tell us that talking on the phone while driving is like driving drunk. Your brain cannot pay attention to the distraction of the phone. It has to switch tasks back and forth to the driving and the talking. When it does, it loses concentration.
Here’s what we know happens when you “drive drunk” on phone call talking:
1) You follow cars in a more wild fashion.
2) You are a half second slower at hitting your brakes when you need to emergency stop.
3) It takes longer to return to normal speed after an emergency.
4) Your risk for an accident increases
5) You miss more than 50% of the visual cues of driving when on a cell phone.
In fact, all the task switching involved with driving and doing anything puts you more at risk. Just reaching for an object makes you nine times more at risk for a crash.
So next time you decide to put on your mascara, eat that sloppy burger or even check out other drivers, know you are increasing your risk for an accident.
Your brain simply cannot pay attention to more than one thing at a time. Multitasking is a dangerous myth when it comes to cell phone usage and driving.