New Jersey drivers understand how risky distractions on the road are. You work hard to remain a safe driver yourself, limiting distractions in your vehicle. Unfortunately, not every driver does the same.

Many distractions exist that easily draw away a driver’s attention. Among these, handheld devices pose special risk.

The myth of multitasking

The National Safety Council looks at statistics related to distracted driving. In specific, they zero in on distracted driving due to cell phone use. They start by debunking the myth of multitasking. You may still believe that you can do many things at once, but that is not true. For example, you cannot read and have a phone conversation at the same time. Likewise, you cannot text and drive.

They point out that even hands-free technology does not solve the problem. It does keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. But it does nothing for your cognitive function. If you are using your attention to focus on what your phone is doing or saying, you are not focusing on the road.

How distraction impacts your reactions

When you do not focus on the road, you increase your chances of getting into a crash. You may not notice danger in time to react well. You cannot brake as fast. It is common for distracted drivers to rear-end stopped vehicles for this reason.

The best option for everyone is to disallow use of cell phones within vehicles, despite the legitimate applications they have. With that notion an impossibility, the next best thing is for everyone to monitor their own use and act in the safest way possible.