When it comes to distracted driving, many people think that they are the exception to the rule: That they can safely text while driving, talk on a cell phone while driving, and engage in other forms of distracted driving.
But this is dangerous thinking: No one is truly safe while distracted driving.
Here are three common myths about distracted driving:
- I can successfully multitask while driving: Contrary to popular belief, humans are not as good at multitasking as they think. In fact, the human brain cannot effectively do two things at the same time, like read and listen. This is also true for driving and talking. The brain has to toggle between the two tasks – it cannot do both simultaneously.
- It’s safe if I only do it at stoplights: Many drivers wait until they are parked at a stop sign or stoplight to check their phones or send a text message. But this is not safe. It is very important for drivers to remain attentive while stopped at a stoplight. A recent study by AAA found that drivers remained distracted 27 seconds after sending a voice text.
- Hands-free devices make it safe: Hands-free devices and voice-to-text systems may seem like a safer alternative. But according to the National Safety Council, voice-to-text is shown to be even more dangerous than send text messages by hand. And doing so requires drivers to do two things at once – such as talking to someone using a headset and drive a car – which we already know cannot be done safely.
No matter how safe you think you are – no matter how much you believe that nothing bad will happen to you while texting or talking on a phone while driving – the fact remains: Distracted driving is not safe. The only safe approach is a zero-tolerance approach.