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Drivers will text despite increased car accident risk

The human brain is an amazing thing, in a number of ways. We are able to take in and process a great deal of information in a very short period of time -- a skill that allows us to operate a motor vehicle with a high degree of safety. There are limits, however, to the volume of information that can be handled by our brains, and adding tasks on top of that threshold can lead to an increased risk of being involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, many drivers overestimate the powers of the human brain when it comes to multitasking, and they may increase the risk level for all drivers and passengers, in Georgia and elsewhere.

A recent study looked at the beliefs and behaviors of drivers, in an effort to gauge the impact that texting and driving has on road safety. Approximately 90 percent of those who participated in the survey stated that they are aware of the risks of texting and driving. However, around three-quarters of those asked admit to taking their eyes away from the road to check their phones while driving. Even more frightening, many respondents believe that they are able to juggle multiple tasks at once while behind the wheel.

Researchers argue that it has been well-established that the human brain is not capable of handling multiple tasks at once. In addition, it has been suggested that, when tested, those individuals who strongly believe that they can do more than one thing at a time actually perform worse than those who do not. This is a dangerous mix, and it could lead many drivers to regularly send and receive text messages while behind the wheel.

For those in Georgia who think that they have a special skill set that allows them to multi-task while driving, it is hoped that this information will lead to a change in behavior while behind the wheel. No text message is worth the risk of causing a car accident that could harm oneself or endanger the lives of others. For those who do not text and drive, the message brought by this research may be to take extra precaution while on the roads, and to be vigilant for signs of distracted driving.

Source: Fox News, "The dangerous psychology of texting while driving", Brooke Crothers, Nov. 10, 2014

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