Multi-Tasking Can Cause Texas Car Accidents

Throughout Austin and the rest of Texas, the ability to "multi-task" is perceived as an admirable, desirable trait. Why get one thing done when you can get two things done at the same time? One very common method of multi-tasking is talking on the phone while driving. Researchers, however, have discovered that multi-tasking isn't all it's cracked up to be; in fact, it doesn't even really exist.

In an April 2012 white paper released by the National Safety Council called Understanding the Distracted Brain, multi-tasking is described from a more scientific point of view. Here are a few important facts the report covers:

  • The human brain can't actually multi-task. People may be able to do two things at once, but they cannot do it very successfully. The brain can only focus fully on one thing at a time, but it does have the ability to go back and forth between tasks very quickly. So, while the brain juggles the tasks, it completely stops focusing on one thing when switching to another - like paying attention to the road while driving - for a certain amount of time. This can result in a delayed reaction time that could mean the difference between avoiding and getting into a car accident..
  • Your brain can overload. If you are doing a few different things that force you to draw mental resources from different parts of the brain, some performance issues can occur. When your brain is trying to pull information from various places, it can result in a "bottleneck" of sorts. The brain, however, has limits and if it's overloaded with too much information, it may not work as intended.
  • You're not as good at multi-tasking as you think. People gain a false sense of competency when they successfully multi-task while driving. Driving, for the most part, is an automatic task. We drive a lot, and we're used to the areas in Texas that we frequently drive in, which is why we seem to do so well if we're talking on our cell phones, as well. Unfortunately, when unexpected things happen, like having to hit the brakes quickly or swerve to avoid a person in the road, multi-tasking people may not react in time. Those unexpected events confuse our brains and result in accidents.


When you're in the car, it is important that you focus on driving to your destination safely. Worry about everything else when you get there in one piece.

If you were injured in a car or truck accident in Texas, call Austin attorney Earl Straight at 512-454-1331. Your first consultation is completely free.