Why Multitaskers Make Horrible Drivers

by on January 25, 2013

You may think you’re great at answering the phone while checking your email while eating your lunch, but chances are then that you can barely talk and drive at the same time. Poor driving skills can play a role in increasing your driving phobias, driving fears and driving anxiety, and the issues can get worse with multitasking.

A study published in the online journal PLOS ONE found that people who think they are wonderful at multitasking and make it a regular habit are usually those who are the worst at it. The results were evident by checking out the skills of motorists who used their cell phones while driving.

“What is alarming is that people who talk on cells phones while driving tend to be the people least able to multitask well,” according to lead study author and psychology Professor David Sanbonmatsu.

On the flip side, those that are adept at multitasking typically don’t engage in it even though they usually could with greater success than those that do.

Make sense?

It all boils down to a person’s ability to avoid distraction, the study suggested. Those that could keep distractions at bay were best able to multitask but usually avoided it because they were busy focusing on a single task. The multitaskers had less ability to focus, making them worse off when it came to completing any task, never mind multiple tasks at once.

So what does that mean for driving fears, driving anxiety and even driving skills?

Driving is generally not a time where you want to multitask since your eyes, mind and hands should be on the single task at hand: safely getting from point A to point B. If you find yourself itching to pick up your cell phone, fiddle with the radio or otherwise engage in multitasking while driving, you may be better off sticking to the single task of driving.

Read article at the University of Utah: http://unews.utah.edu/news_releases/frequent-mulitaskers-are-bad-at-it/

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