The Human Brain Takes Almost One Minute to Switch Between Tasks: New Findings Related to Distracted Driving

The Human Brain Takes Almost One Minute to Switch Between Tasks: New Findings Related to Distracted DrivingMost drivers are aware of the consequences of distracted driving. However, they continue to multitask while driving, causing many car accidents and collisions across Hanover, Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. One of the main reasons for this is false confidence, which causes people to think that they can successfully multitask behind the wheel.

While some people have never been in a car accident due to multitasking, new research shows that they are just lucky that their careless and reckless behavior hasn’t caught up to them yet.

What new findings did the researchers discover?

According to Scientific American, a new study elaborated and brought to light more details and information about distracted driving that many people are not aware of. There were two different experiments conducted on individuals between the ages of 18 and 58. The task was for the individuals to carry out a driving-related activity while also doing something that was distracting.

After the first experiment was complete, the psychologists came to the conclusion that “distraction depleted participants’ ability to pay attention to their driving for at least half a minute after the distraction ended.” However, this number extended to a whopping 45 seconds during the second experiment, which is very close to one minute. This is extremely alarming as it is similar to placing a blindfold over your eyes while operating a dangerous machine for 45 seconds.

What does the new study say about distracted driving?

This new study brings new information about distracted driving to the surface. The most surprising point was that it takes the human brain almost an entire minute to switch between tasks. Therefore, if a driver is texting while behind the wheel, it can take them almost one minute to switch their focus back to driving after sending a text message. A lot can happen or appear on the road within one minute, such as a lane change, a tire blowout, a pedestrian walking out in front of you, the car in front of you slamming on brakes, a sudden curve, a closed road, and more.

Another interesting fact that the study showed was that people are typically very bad at handling a variety of different tasks at the same time. While some people are already aware of this, there are still many people who believe that they are great multitaskers and can do other things while driving. However, this new research is evidence that people are much worse at multitasking than they think they are.

Additionally, many drivers do not think about how dangerous distracted driving actually is. However, when you think about the 45-second window that it takes for your brain to switch between tasks, this is a lot of room to run a stop sign/light, go past your exit or turn, miss a construction zone sign, and more. The study backs up the fact that distracted driving is extremely dangerous and deadly, and people should make sure their mind is completely free of any distractions before operating a vehicle.

The types of injuries that distracted driving accidents cause in Hanover, PA

When an individual is involved in a distracted driving accident, there is a high chance that they will suffer catastrophic injuries. Some of the most common catastrophic injuries that distracted driving accidents frequently cause includes:

  • Concussions, contusions, and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Head and skull injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Amputations
  • Dental, facial, and eye injuries
  • Abdominal and chest injuries
  • Shoulder and neck injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
  • Burn injuries
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Severe bruising
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Death

Pennsylvania’s laws on distracted driving

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation explains that “anything that causes you to either take your attention away from driving, take your eyes off of the road or take your hands off of the wheel is a distraction.” As a result, Pennsylvania has implemented a law banning drivers from using any “interactive wireless communication device” while driving. This means that if you get behind the wheel and send, write, or read a text message while the car is moving, you are disobeying the law. A GPS navigation system is not considered an interactive wireless communication device, but a cell phone, smartphone, mobile computer, iPad, tablet, and other similar devices are.

Is Pennsylvania’s law enough to stop or prevent distracted driving?

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s law on distracted driving is not enough to stop or prevent distracted driving from occurring. Many other states around the country have adopted similar laws, but people still continue to drive and talk on the phone, text, eat, brush their hair, put on makeup, surf the web, check their emails, post on social media, and more. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported more than 3,500 fatalities caused by distracted driving in the United States in 2021, and there seems to be no signs of this number decreasing in the near future.

The American Safety Council explained that people participate in distracted driving because of the feeling that these activities give them. For example, texting or posting on social media gives individuals a sort of “high.” Therefore, when they are behind the wheel, they feel like they cannot wait or simply do not want to wait until the vehicle is stopped to check their phone and respond back to messages because they want their next dopamine release. Dopamine is described as a “feel good neurotransmitter.” It can affect your mood, happiness, decision making, and even motor functioning. As a result, most people are willing to throw out the known dangers of distracted driving just to send out a text message, type an email, post on social media, and more.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver in Hanover, PA, please get in touch with KBG Injury Law at your earliest convenience. Our car accident lawyers have been helping clients with distracted driving cases for about 40 years, and we are happy to assist you with these types of claims as well. We will build a strong and sturdy case against the defendant, show that they were participating in a distracted driving activity, collect evidence to support your side of the story, and demand the compensation that you are owed for your injuries and losses from the accident. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation case review at one of our office locations in York, Lancaster, Hanover, Harrisburg, and Gettysburg today.