Multitask at All? You Might Be at Risk of a Car Accident


OMAHA, Nebraska. We’ve all multitasked from time to time. Whether it’s making dinner plans while trying to finish up that last spreadsheet, rocking your baby to sleep while Keeping Up with the Kardashians, or checking an email at a stoplight (please don’t do this!), most of us are guilty of multitasking. Multitasking while driving, or driving while distracted, is the most dangerous kind of multitasking. It takes your attention away from the road, and puts you at greater risk of a crash. For instance, texting while driving takes a driver’s eyes off the road. Yet, the most dangerous multitaskers of all may be the ones who think that they are good at it.

According to Scientific American, the better a person thinks he or she is at multitasking, the worse he or she may be at it. Worse, the people who think they are good at multitasking may be more likely to drive while distracted. Researchers not only studied individuals’ self-reports of distracted driving behavior and their own beliefs about their performance while distracted, but they also tested the individual’s abilities to determine whether their self-reports were accurate.

In fact, researchers have found that those who are the most competent at a given task are more likely to underestimate their abilities. Those who were least competent were more likely to overestimate their abilities. The better you think you are at something, the worse at it you may be.

The problem with distracted driving is deeper than this, though. Unlike dangerous acts like drinking and driving, cell phone use while driving doesn’t yet have a social stigma attached to it. Our society elevates and celebrates being busy. Being able to multitask is viewed as productive in some circles—not dangerous. This creates a possibly deadly social norm.

In fact, according to QZ, some believe that driverless cars will be a boom to certain professions. If police officers, personal care workers, plumbers, firefighters and other professionals who sometimes drive no longer have to drive vehicles themselves, their time will be freed to focus on the tasks they are paid to do. Personal care workers can write more detailed reports, police can use technology to analyze a given neighborhood’s safety record, and other professionals can use travel time to check emails and write reports. Paramedics can all focus on saving the patient rather than having to lose one set of hands to driving.

However, until driverless cars are permitted on the road, multitasking while behind the wheel is not productive—it is dangerous. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident due to another person’s distraction behind the wheel, contact Rensch & Rensch Law, Omaha, Nebraska personal injury lawyers. Our firm can review the details of your case and help you plan a roadmap forward. In some instances, you or your family may be entitled to seek money to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Visit us at to learn more.


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