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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Texting and Driving Don't Mix

Many drivers think it’s really not a big deal to use their cell phones and concentrate on driving. But with recent news of the potential train accident in California linked to a conductor texting while on the job brings multitasking under fire. Trying to eliminate distractions, the California Public Utility Commission created an emergency order banning the use of personal electric devices for anyone operating a train.

Have there been any new research related to mixing texting and driving?
• Study shows that 50,000 people say their riskiest behavior while texting is driving
• 42% of teens say they can text blindfolded and believe there is no problem doing this while driving

What are other concerns related to mixing these two activities?

• Research shows that people don’t achieve more when multitasking, they generally concentrate less on both activities
• Multitasking increases the chances of mistakes
• Multitasking slows down our response time which can be dangerous
• Our brains have difficulty moving from task to task and performance drops (example of counting and doing alphabet at the same time)

What are some options that have been proposed?

• There is a new technology that is pending which would actually prevent calls and text messaging reaching cell phones in a vehicle.
• Technology is pending to create a code that parents could activate or deactivate which would deactivate cell phones except for 911 emergency calls
• Now 6 state have made it against the law to text while driving

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