Multi-tasking Behind the Wheel

Essay by blondie5479College, UndergraduateA+, November 2006

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In today's world, every time we get behind the wheel of a car, we are putting our lives at risk. Hundreds of people are either injured or killed in automobile accidents every year. The majority of these accidents are caused by reckless or careless driving. Drivers today are so preoccupied with performing unnecessary tasks that they cannot keep their focus on the road in front of them.

The most common distraction is talking on the cell phone while driving. How often have drivers been driving while on a cell phone? Almost everyone has a cell phone and is guilty of using it while driving. This can be very dangerous. First of all, drivers have to take their eyes off of the road in order to either make or answer a phone call. Second, drivers may get so absorbed in their phone conversation that they forget to pay attention to the road.

For example, last year my mother was rear ended by a person who was more interested in her phone conversation than paying attention to the car in front of her. Studies at the Transport Research Laboratory show that the drivers reaction time is about fifty percent slower when on a cell phone than when driving normally. The study also shows that driving and talking on a mobile phone may be even more dangerous than drunk driving. Driving while on a mobile phone has become so hazardous that several countries in the United Kingdom and a few states here in the United States have banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. But even the use of a hands-free mobile phone does not completely eliminate the distraction of the phone conversation.

Aside from the cell phone, there are many other ways people multi-task while trying to drive. One way...