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Multitasking Behind the Wheel – An Accident Waiting to Happen

multitasking behind the wheel

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted (multitasking) driver. The NHTSA defines a distraction as “anything that takes your eyes off the road (visual distraction), your mind off the road (cognitive distraction), or your hands off the wheel (manual distraction).”

Whether you’re texting or talking on a cellphone, both are considered distracted driving, and your chances of having an accident multiply 23 times — which will affect your car insurance.

Furthermore, according to a new survey from the University of Utah, those who are the most likely to multitask while driving are apparently the least capable of doing it with success. In fact, this group tended to overrate their ability to talk on cell phones when driving.

And think about this: If it can be proven you were texting behind the wheel seconds before you ran through a stop sign or red light, and slammed into another car, you can count on your car insurance rates to go up substantially…assuming you walk away. Injure or kill someone in the accident, and you could be facing a negligent homicide charge – all the result of a text you couldn’t wait to read or send.

Anytime you multitask and take your attention away from driving, you greatly increase your chances of making a mistake. The survey shows the more likely you are to multitask, the more likely you’re not very good at it, making you a risk to everyone on the road. And, speaking about risk, you could end up as a driver needing high-risk auto insurance.

Driving is a mental skill that requires full awareness and judgment behind the wheel at all times. That’s why an activity such as texting, which forces you to take your attention off the road ahead…even for a few seconds, can have devastating consequences – you may not see that child running across the street, a traffic light turning red up ahead, or a car pulling out in front of you.

The survey continues to point out that people who are most likely to multitask have a strong tendency to be overconfident and impulsive—although their actual ability to perform multitasking to any degree of success is lower than average. They’re under the false illusion that they’re really good at it, leading them to often do it in situations that might be considered unsafe.

So, the next time you’re feeling overconfident and get the urge to text while driving, because you’ve gotten away with it so far, take a look at the victim’s advocacy group FocusDriven.org. It’s a website that shares stories of families who have lost someone close, such as a family member, spouse, or friend, because they thought they were good at multitasking.

Although you can’t keep other drivers from texting, you can check to make sure you’re getting the best rates on your car insurance. Why not get a free car insurance quote today?

Have you ever gotten in an accident as a result of texting? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.