Cellular Abuse Behind the Wheel: the Dangers of Distracted Behavior

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Another negative effect that mobile phones impair is mental focus while driving. People who are driving have their minds on the task in front of them with their full attention on the road. So when a person is conversing on a phone their attention is split as he or she is trying to multi-task both talking and driving at the same time. An article written by Nathan Seppa, the cause of “split attention”, he noted that David Strayer a psychology professor and his team studied to understand what impairs drivers when they talk on the phone. They conducted an experiment with drivers to see the effects of how varies distractions compare to each other. Strayer’s team accompanied drivers and assign them different distractive tasks while they maintain their eyes on the road in order to assess the effects. In the team’s findings they found that one most distracting tasks was talking on a mobile phone, which caused a driver’s performance to decline significantly. The typical tasks that drivers should perform on a regular basis, such as observing traffic changes, looking in rear-view mirrors, and watching for pedestrians was reduced overall (Seppa). Not many people can multi-task a conversation and driving at the same time without some drawbacks. Another drawback to a person focus was “unintentional blindness”, described by Simons, as “looking at something and not seeing it” (Seppa). So a person who is talking on a phone can end up not seeing an object whether it is a car, a stop sign or a pedestrian that is right in front of him and her. Many experiments were conducted by professionals to understand how “unintentional blindness” can affect a person’s perception, but one notable professional, Simmons, conducted a test of this concept: In the mo... ... middle of paper ... ...ch Transportation Institute Provides Insight into Cell Phone Use and Driving Distraction." Virginia Tech News. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Virginia Tech, 2009. Web. 09 Apr. 2014. Piper, Andy. "Lawmakers Try to 'Cell' Phone Limits for Drivers." Telegraph – Herald. Feb 01 2010. ProQuest. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. "Safety Laws in California." DMV.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2014. Seppa, Nathan. "Impactful Distraction: Talking While Driving Poses Dangers That People Seem Unable To See." Science News 184.4 (2013): 20. Master FILE Premier. Web. 27 Mar. 2014. Young, Kristie L., John D. Lee, and Michael A. Regan. Driver Distraction: Theory, Effects, and Mitigation. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2009. EBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 28 Mar. 2014. Zyla, Tim. "PennDOT Tackles Distracted Driving." McClatchy - Tribune Business News Apr 30 2013. ProQuest. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.

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