Like most of the nation, in San Antonio and South Texas, the ability to “multi-task” is considered a desirable skill to have, to the extent that mutli-tasking has begun to pervade our culture and mentality. In fact, it’s rare to find anyone behind the wheel of a car in Texas who isn’t multi-tasking in some way, whether it be making a to do list, texting, shaving, eating, putting on makeup, or any number of other activities. However, recently researchers have discovered that our inability to multitask is leading to automobile accidents at an increasing rate. A white paper released by the National Safety Council, entitled “Understanding the Distracted Brain,” discovered that multi-tasking is actually a misnomer – that is, it doesn’t actually exist. The report found the following about multi-tasking:
- The Human Brain Is Incapable of Effective Multitasking. While people can sometimes accomplish two things at once, they can’t do it very effectively. This is because the human brain can only focus fully on one item at a time, but does have the ability to jump back and forth between one or more tasks at a rapid rate. Therefore, while the brain is capable of juggling many tasks, it cannot do two tasks at once. Therefore, once the brain is focused on one task, it must completely stop thinking about other tasks, such as watching the road while driving. This delay can result in delayed reflex and response time, and can often mean the difference in avoiding an accident, or colliding with another vehicle.
- Brain Overload. Just like a breaker box in your home when you plug too many appliances into it, the brain can also become overloaded when given too many tasks to complete. This can slow down reflex times and split second decision making that is imperative to avoiding serious automobile accidents.
- False Sense of Competency. Most people have a false sense of competency when it comes to multitasking while driving. San Antonio is a big city, and we’re used to driving a lot here and in south Texas. In fact, we spend so much time in the car that most of us feel like to we need to make up time by multitasking, and we probably think we’re pretty good at it. However, it’s when unexpected events occur, such as needing to swerve or brake suddenly, that our false sense of ability may be exposed. These unexpected events can lead to serious automobile accidents.
Therefore, when you’re driving, as busy as you may be, it’s important to focus on one thing only: driving. There will plenty of time to worry about completing all of your tasks once you arrive at your destination, and it only takes a split-second delay for an otherwise avoidable accident to end in serious injury or death. Browse our library for more information on automobile and trucking accidents.