New Study Demonstrates Why Distracted Driving Is More Prevalent & Dangerous Than Originally Thought
According to a new study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, distracted driving is even more unsafe than previously thought due to the impact of multitasking on one’s working memory, or mental workspace. Specifically, this new research indicates that it is not simply a driver trying to engage in another activity – such as talking on their cell phone or eating – while they are driving, but the lasting effect of completing that other task, and the mental fog it places the individual in, that makes distracted driving truly dangerous.
The Lingering Effect of Every Task: The Danger of Multitasking
In 2021, more than 3,500 drivers alone died in U.S. traffic accidents linked to distracted driving. While using the cell phone while driving is the primary source of distraction, other main sources include entering in navigational information, trying to eat, and engaging in other similar activities. While a large body of research has already established that humans are not good at multitasking, unfortunately, it is not something that we as drivers have accepted or incorporated into our driving practices.
According to this recent research, researchers found that distraction depleted drivers’ ability to pay attention to their driving for at least half a minute after the distraction ended. That extended effect implies that the number of traffic accidents caused by distracted driving could be substantially higher than current estimates indicate, and this includes accidents that occur, for example, after an individual engages in the distracted activity at a red light, thinking that this is safe because the car is not moving, however, that task has a lingering effect in the brain, which then interferes with the driver’s ability to focus and drive safely.
This research turns the concept of distracted driving – and the accidents that accompany it – on its head, as drivers who are no longer engaging in distracted driving are still obviously slow and less accurate in their responses on the road after they have completed the distracted task. Specifically, the residential effect of multitasking was largest at the beginning of the ‘recovery phase” but still evident at the end of the 30 seconds after completing that distracted task.
Contact Our Macon, Georgia Distracted Driver Accident Recovery Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been harmed or killed by a distracted driver, it is critical that you contact a distracted driver attorney right away in order to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve following an accident. Contact the Macon distracted driving attorneys at the Law Offices of Buzzell, Welsh & Hill today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.