When you step into a car, the first thing on your mind is probably something like “I have to be there in 10 minutes!” or “where should I go to eat tonight?” or maybe even “wow…I’ll never be as good of a painter as Bob Ross”.
Whatever you think of when getting in the car, you must be sure that it won’t distract you while you’re driving. Any stress, worry, or excitement has the potential to take your mind off of driving, and this distraction makes you a danger on the road.
Even if you aren’t actively thinking about something else–maybe you’re mindlessly eating, or chatting with a passenger, or glancing to read that text that just came through–your mind is preoccupied and can’t stay focused on driving. Although you may convince yourself that a conversation or a quick reply won’t put you in danger, multitasking in any form while on the road is a risk. Our brains physically can’t put full attention to multiple things at a time, so instead, it rapidly switches between tasks in attempts to complete each task simultaneously.
No matter how much it may seem like you’re focusing on both things at the same time, you aren’t. To demonstrate this, try listening to two different songs at once. Put in one earbud playing one song and another earbud playing a different song (both at the same volume). Your brain will automatically focus on one song and disregard the other, and when you try to listen to both your brain will choose one for you. The mind is incapable of understanding information from different sources simultaneously, and this exemplifies why distracted driving is such a problem.
Being behind a 2-ton machine is dangerous in itself, and it becomes deadly when you add things that require your attention. In understanding the risks of multitasking or becoming distracted while behind the wheel, one should always commit themselves to concentrating on driving, in order to keep themselves and others safe.
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