VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – When you’re behind the wheel, you’re often multi-tasking: Listening to the radio, talking to the person next to you in the passenger seat — besides trying to pay attention to traffic.
And while all of that can take your attention away from the road in front of you, a unique test out of the US suggests nothing is quite as distracting as hitting send on that oh-so-important text.
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Drivers were put in a simulator and forced to deal with stressful distractions like being startled or being asked questions. If they drifted, they were generally able to get the car back in line.
But when texting was thrown in on top of all that, the cars veered off more and went into other lanes more often.
Angelo DiCicco with Young Drivers of Canada isn’t at all surprised. “What happens is that if you’re having a rather involved conversation, you’re using a good chunk of the brain to respond or come up with what your next response is to the question by your passenger.”
He adds if you then try texting, your head, your eyes, and your hands are distracted — and it’s all just too much for your brain.
“Distracted driving is actually one of the biggest issues faced by corporate fleets now, and there’s been a marked increase in requests for distracted driving programs.”
DiCicco says the challenge is proving the danger of texting and driving to students — particuarly millennials, who are accustomed to using their phones during every other daily activity without any negative consequences.