A defense many drivers use when it comes to distracted driving is that they are multitasking and it’s fine. However, it isn’t fine! Multitasking isn’t an easy task people can do and while they think they are doing everything correctly, their brain is not functioning properly when it is forced to do more than one thing at a time.
The Myth Of Multitasking
To be honest, we can all admit that we multitask. We don’t think it’s that big of a deal. We all have busy lives, so we try and get things done as quickly as possible. However, it’s not something that is easily done, especially when it comes to the functioning of our brains. Entrepreneur stated the only time you can truly multitask is when:
- One or more of the tasks is “second nature.” In other words, it is so well-learned that no real thought is necessary to complete the task, like chewing gum or walking.
- The tasks being performed involves different brain processes. For instance, if you’re reading a book, you can listen to classical (instrumental) music at the same time, but if you listen to music with lyrics, you won’t retain as much of the information you’re reading. This is because both reading and listening to songs with words activate the language center of the brain. And the brain literally cannot process more than one task in any given category at a time.
Distracted Driving and Multitasking
Since multitasking is not really possible, we need to look at it in regards to cell phone use while driving. Even with better technology, any kind of cell phone use in a vehicle is distracting. We have hands-free devices in newer cars now, which is supposed to help with distracted driving. However, the above image shows that the activity in the brain is decreased by up to 1/3 when listening or talking on a phone. That is a huge amount, hence why distracted driving is such a huge issue. And why people need to stop multitasking!