Tuesday, May 12, 2015

5 things you didn't know (or need to be reminded) of about cell phones, driving and the brain

  • Conversation is one of the brain’s most complex functions and a cellular conversation is more mentally taxing than conversations with passengers.

  •  The chances of being in a crash increase 400-500 percent within 10 minutes of talking on a cell phone, even if it’s a hands-free device.

  •  Knowing the risks of a certain activity doesn’t change behavior. The brain deceives us into unrealistic expectations about our own abilities.

  •  Having your eyes open isn’t enough to prevent distracted driving. A driver’s field of vision while using a cell phone is reduced to about the width of the steering wheel and as far ahead as the front bumper.

  •  Multi-tasking is a myth. The brain only allows us to task-switch.
These are among the observations, findings and research of University of Kansas psychology professor Dr. Paul Atchley, who has been conducting research and teaching about cognitive factors related to driving for more than 20 years.

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