Many drivers in Pennsylvania wrongly believe that they can multitask

Although the brain was not designed to multitask, many drivers believe that they can safely text and drive behind the wheel.

Many drivers in Pennsylvania are aware that texting and driving is dangerous, but continue to engage in this hazardous activity anyway. According to a recent survey released by AT&T, 98 percent of the participants who reported that they text regularly and own a cellphone said that they knew texting and driving was dangerous, yet three-quarters of this group of participants admitted that they still text and drive. Although there were many reasons why these distracted drivers cited as to why they text and drive, more than a quarter reported that they believe that their ability to drive safely is not affected when they text.

Confidence may contribute to problem

Even though many of the drivers who participated in this study reported that they could safely handle texting and driving, the National Safety Council states that the human brain was not designed to multitask and cannot process two separate activities simultaneously. Additionally, according to Scientific American, a study discovered that drivers who are confident in their ability to multitask and perform activities like texting and driving are more likely to be the most dangerous at it.

To come to this conclusion, researchers had 300 participates complete a series of questionnaires that asked them about their:

  • Beliefs regarding their ability to successfully multitask
  • Tendencies to be impulsive
  • Driving habits

Then, each of the participants was asked to complete an assessment called the Operation Span test, which is a test that is designed to measure a person's ability to multitask. The participants who were most likely to express confidence in their ability to multitask were also the ones least likely to perform well on the Operation Span test and the ones most likely to report that they used their cellphone while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Why texting and driving is so dangerous

Although there are many activities that can elevate a driver's risk of causing a fatal or injurious car accident, texting and driving is one of the most dangerous distracted driving activities because it combines all three types of driver distraction, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include visual, manual and cognitive distraction.

Drivers, passengers and pedestrians in Pennsylvania who are involved in a car accident caused by a driver who chose to text and drive behind the wheel may sustain injuries that harm their ability to live a normal life and require extensive medical and rehabilitative care. If you were recently harmed in a distracted driving-related motor vehicle accident, speak with an attorney in your area to determine what legal steps you should take next.

Keywords: distracted, texting, accident, injury