Roadway Safety Study: Only 2.5% Can Drive Undistracted

There been many studies about the dangers of distracted driving, especially texting, but this one is particularly astounding. According to research carried out at the University of Utah, only those motorists among us who are considered “supertaskers” can safely drive and talk on a cell phone, that is, “without noticeable impairment.” And the supertaskers–those with extraordinary multitasking abilities–amounted to only a mere 2.5 percent (one in 40) of the test  subjects. This outcome seems to confirm that very few motorists can operate their vehicle and talk on the phone without being significantly distracted.

CBSNews.com explains the methodology:

In this latest study, the University of Utah psychologists analyzed the responses of 200 participants, who were first tested in a driving simulator, and then again driving while also engaged in a hands-free cell phone conversation involving word memorization and math problem-solving.

The researchers measured reactions in braking, the drivers’ following distance on the “freeway,” memory, and math computation.

Results showed that for 97.5 percent of the subjects, performance suffered across the board when both driving and talking on a hands-free cell phone.

One of the study’s co-authors commented that “Given the number of individuals who routinely talk on the phone while driving, one would have hoped that there would be a greater percentage of supertaskers.”

The full study will appear in an upcoming issue of the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

The issue of technologically distracted drivers is not going away anytime soon. Undoubtedly more research data will be coming, along with additional legal restrictions on mobile communications technology. In the meantime, if you or a loved one have been injured on Indiana roads by a distracted driver, regardless of the cause of the distraction, contact the personal injury lawyers at Young and Young in Indianapolis. Rest assured that our firm, which has been operating under the Young and Young name for more than 55 years, has the knowledge to fully and aggressively represent Hoosiers and their families who have been hurt or killed in a traffic crash on Indiana roads.

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