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The Deadly Myth of Multi-Tasking

Wyatt Wright
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Experienced Personal Injury and Auto Accident Attorney
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Here’s the thing:

Would you deliberately set up an accident that might kill someone?  Then why do you text and drive?

At 55 mph, in the five seconds your eyes are off the road to text – or even read a text - you’ll drive the length of a football field.  In those five seconds, you could easily veer into oncoming traffic, rear end the car in front of you or run off the road, according to the National Highway Safety Administration. (NHTSA)

John Gordon was killed instantly when a truck veered in front of his motorcycle on an Ohio highway.  The truck driver was using his cell phone when he killed the law enforcement officer.

Alison Holden suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was rear ended at a traffic light by a driver who was sending a text message.

Heather Lerch lost control of her car while she was texting and hit a guardrail.  It killed her.

What was the matter with these people?  Couldn’t they multi-task?  No, they were human beings, not computers.

Multitasking is a computer term.  Computers can multi-task because they have more than one processor.  Those processors handle many tasks at the same time, devoting 100% of their attention in each case to each task simultaneously.  A human’s brain has one processor.  People who think they are multi-tasking are fooling themselves.  Their brains are merely switching from one task to another.

You can walk and chew gum at the same time because one is a thinking task and the other isn’t.  Talking and driving are both thinking tasks.  You cannot do both simultaneously without shifting your attention from one to the other.  It’s simple:  If you text while you drive, your attention is on the text not what’s in front of you on the road.  There’s no way around that.

Those five seconds could ruin your life.  You will do time in some states if you fatally injure another driver because you are texting behind the wheel.  The police will get your cell phone records and pinpoint the exact time you killed your victim.

Forty four states ban all drivers from texting behind the wheel.  Texas may be about to join them.

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