Distracted drivers claim the lives of many Californians every year. Although the risks of driving and texting are attracting more and more attention, some drivers ignore the obvious dangers and wind up harming other motorists.
A new study looked at impact of multitasking on accuracy. Unsurprisingly, the results indicate that people are not good at juggling multiple tasks and accuracy levels dropped off dramatically. This confirms that distracted driving is unreasonably dangerous and often even negligent. When a distracted driver causes a fatal accident, for example, the victim's family should be able to recover for this kind of dangerous behavior in a wrongful death claim.
The study asked young participants to juggle two visually oriented tasks. One of the tasks stood in for driving and required the participant to respond to visual stimuli by accurately pushing the correct button. At the same time, the participants tried to give walking directions to another person by typing in an instant messenger window.
Although the participants gave themselves good marks for performance, they actually performed quite poorly. Accuracy dropped off by around 50 percent - indicating a big distraction. In addition, the study measured eye movements and found that the participants spent a lot of time switching focus between the tasks. This means that, for big chunks of time, they were not effectively focused on either task.
When a distracted driver causes an accident, the consequences for the victims and their families can be severe. Californians who find themselves in this situation should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their options.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Why Some Types of Multitasking Are More Dangerous Than Others," July 7, 2012