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The myths of multitasking and driving

Everyone knows someone who claims to be an excellent multitasker. But the truth is, the human brain isn’t capable of concentrating on two things at once. When you try to do two things at once, your mind is unable to perform either task well – particularly when it comes to multitasking while driving. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about multitasking and driving and the facts behind them:

Myth: drivers can multitask

Regardless of if you are driving or not, multitasking isn’t possible. Whether you are watching tv at home while trying to read the news or driving while talking on the phone, your brain has to switch between the two tasks to do both, which slows down your reaction time.

Myth: talking on a phone is just like speaking to a passenger

Having a passenger in your car gives you the benefit of having an extra pair of eyes and ears on the road. Passengers can help alert drivers to road hazards or sudden changes in traffic. A person on the phone can’t see what’s going on and only serves as a distraction.

Myth: hands-free technology is safe to use while driving

There’s a common misconception that using hands-free technology is safer because you can keep your hands and eyes focused on the road. But according to the NSC, drivers talking on their cell phones can miss seeing up to 50% of their environment.

Myth: it’s safe to use your phone at stoplights

While it can feel torturous to sit at an exceptionally long stoplight, you must remain focused on driving. One study found that drivers are still distracted up to 27 seconds after they finish sending a voice text.

Myth: voice-to-text is safe to use while driving

Voice-to-text technology is still incredibly distracting. Not only is your focus fixed on your message, but common autocorrect errors that frequently occur with this feature make you visually distracted too.

The bottom line

There is truly no safe way to multitask and drive – especially when it comes to using cell phones. To avoid potentially devastating accidents and injuries, you must focus only on driving whenever you’re on the road.