Doug / 06-25-2012 / Auto Accidents

Multitasking is a Myth, But the Consequences are Real

David Teater is the senior director of Transportation Initiatives at the National Safety Council (NSC), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accident prevention and promoting health issues. As we mentioned last week, the NSC has designated June as National Safety Month, and this final week has been dedicated specifically to driving safety.

We have posted videos featuring Teater before, but this particular segment makes an extremely compelling argument against multitasking. “What researchers are finding out is that the human brain really does not multitask,” Teater says. “It sequentially tasks. It goes back and forth from one difficult task to another.”

Teater says that he likes to refer to it rather as “toggle-tasking,” saying that at any given moment, the brain can only focus on one of those tasks. He points out that having a phone conversation and driving an automobile are each cognitively demanding tasks for the brain on their own. “So the brain’s got to choose one. It can’t do both,” Teater explains. “If an event happens while driving a vehicle, and you don’t respond to it as quickly or as well as you should, the consequences are huge.”

Teater fully understands those consequences, as his 12-year-old son Joe was killed in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver in 2004. Like he says at the end of this video, “How can we expect to drive a 5,000-pound vehicle through a dynamic, always changing environment where the smallest mistake can result in serious injury?”

The answer, of course, is that we cannot and we should not expect to be able to be able to do that. Yet, too many motorists continue to believe they are much better at multitasking than they actually are. On Friday, we’ll post another video discussing the myth of multitasking. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, contact our firm today to see how our Orlando personal injury attorneys might be able to help.

Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. – Orlando personal injury lawyers

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