Multi-Tasking Behind the Wheel

Or as Deborah Hersman put it: “It’s the cognitive workload on your brain that’s the problem.” Hersman, president of the nonprofit National Safety Council and a former chairwoman of the federal National Transportation Safety Board, said it was not clear how much those various technologies (hands-free) reduced distraction — or, instead, encouraged people to use even more functions on their phones while driving.  And freeing the drivers’ hands does not necessarily clear their heads.”

After steady declines over the last four decades, highway fatalities last year recorded the largest annual percentage increase in 50 years. And the numbers so far this year are even worse. In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths jumped 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This cognitive workload “overload” is not a safe way to drive.   I have trouble listening to the radio and not being distracted when I’m behind the wheel.  And, of course, with my wife in the car, I also have a reliable “co-pilot.”

Please drive safely over this holiday weekend.  It may even be a good time to turn off your “cruise-control?”

Ray Myers

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