“Inattention blindness” is what a University of Utah study associated with over confidence while driving. The study showed that the belief that you can multitask while driving, that is to say, using a cell phone and driving at the same time,
“causes drivers to fail to see up to half of the information in the driving environment.”
The study continues:
“[there were] a great many people who adamantly claim that they are not impaired when they use a cell phone while driving, although they readily admit that they have seen others who drive erratically when they use their cell phones.”
This kind of “inattention blindness” to the driving environment clearly mirrors motorists’ blindness to their own inner environment. If we cannot be honest with ourselves when it comes to driving, how do we expect others to be? Simply changing our own sense of overconfidence could be the start to solving the epidemic now running rampant throughout the United States.
The National Safety Council says, “Multitasking is a myth.” They explain by saying, “Human brains do not perform two tasks at the same time. Instead, the brain handles tasks sequentially, switching between one task and another. Brains can juggle tasks very rapidly, which leads us to erroneously believe we are doing two tasks at the same time.”
To avoid overconfidence in our multitasking abilities, we should avoid using cell phones while we drive, period.
Smart motorists know how to avoid texting and driving accidents; they simply turn off the phone and leave it in an out-of-reach bag.
Tips on how to avoid distracted driving:
- Turn off your cell phone;
- Leave the phone at home;
- Put the phone in an out-of-reach location;
- Put the phone out of sight;
- Never answer or respond to a text message or phone call while driving;
- Have a passenger answer the phone for you;
- Have a passenger make the call or text for you;
- Make and sign a written agreement and promise to never text and drive;
- Pledge with Christensen & Hymas to never text and drive; and
- Share your pledge and written agreement with friends and family members.
The consequences associated with driving while distracted are simply not worth it. Honesty examine your own driving behavior and see if any improvement could be made. Don’t be hesitant to alter your driving habits if they are in need of improving. Don’t be blind to the realities of multitasking while driving. Know that your choice to not be over confident while driving could save not only your life, but many others.