I can multitask while I’m driving.
Did you know the brain literally can only do one thing at a time? Even if it seems like multi-tasking is natural and instinctive for you, your brain is actually only focusing on one thing at a time. For example, we talk all day long, it doesn’t even seem to require much brain power, right? Wrong. When you’re talking on the phone and driving, your brain is quickly switching back and forth between the two tasks, even though you don’t notice it. This slows your reaction time. Think about trying to watch TV and talk on the phone at the same time. You’ll notice then that you can’t actually do two seemingly simple tasks at the same time. Your brain can only focus on one at a time. Go ahead, try it, and then think twice about talking on the phone while driving.
But talking on the phone is just like talking to a passenger.
Nope. It’s actually very different. Passengers in the car are also aware of what’s going on around you and can help keep you focused. Someone on the other end of the phone can’t see that car that’s about to cut you off. But your passenger can. So they can adjust the conversation when they see potential danger and they can even alert you to those potential dangers. We all hate backseat drivers but sometimes, they can actually help and save lives. Don’t be fooled. It is not safe to drive and talk on the phone at the same time.
I can still text if I use voice-to-text.
When cell phones first became capable of transcribing our voice into text messages, it was all the rage. “Now I can text without having to look at my phone.” Sounds great, right? Maybe not. Have you ever noticed that even while you’re using your voice to text, you constantly look down at the phone? That’s probably because of auto-correct issues or your phone misinterpreting your voice. This can be extremely dangerous because 1) you’re still looking at your phone and 2) you’ve let your guard down because you think you’re being safe by not actually texting. If it’s an urgent message, find a safe place to park, and take care of your text. Otherwise, ignore your phone and wait until you get to your destination.
Help us spread awareness this month about the dangers of distracted driving so we can reduce the injuries and fatalities it causes.