Too many pedestrians believe they can multitask, but this belief is a myth. Instead, the brain switches back and forth between tasks. There are some exceptions to this such as thinking while walking. These two tasks don’t use the same part of the brain because walking is a mostly automatic motor skill requiring little conscious effort. However, when two tasks demand access to the same part of the brain, simultaneously processing both isn’t possible.
In fact, even the CPU of a computer only does one thing at a time, but unlike the human brain, it can switch between multiple tasks with blinding speed.
What this means for pedestrians is that they should put away their mobile devices and other distracting gadgets when crossing streets or walking along or near roads. It’s easy enough to find YouTube videos of distracted pedestrians walking into telephone poles or walls, and falling into pools. While these videos may seem humorous to some, stepping in front of a moving car is tragic.
If you think you can safely switch your focus back and forth between your walking environment and your mobile device, think again. While the brain is capable of back-and-forth focus (called switch tasking), it does this poorly. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the brain may require up to 27 seconds of recovery between tasks. In other words, the brain needs a lot of time to “switch gears” and get up to speed on the task it switches to. That’s far too slow to realize you’re about to be hit by a car that’s racing toward you.
Perhaps you’re wondering about conversing on a cell phone while walking around traffic. Again, the brain will do a poor job of either conversing or of maintaining a good situational awareness of the traffic around you. If you try to do both equally, you will do a poor job at both activities. If your brain is focused on the conversation, it does a poor job of processing visual signals from the eyes.
Drivers using cell phones can fail to see up to 50% of their driving environment. Although your eyes are looking at things in front of you, they don’t register in your brain when you’re cognitively distracted. In addition to avoiding this inattention blindness, you should expend a conscious effort to look both ways and anticipate cars intent on running red lights. Your survival depends on it.
If in spite of your careful focus, a motorist injured you while walking, an experienced Charles County accident attorney at the Law Offices of John Critzos, II can help you get the compensation you deserve. Please visit our Facebook page and like it, tell your friends about our Facebook page, and if you like, leave a message or share this Facebook post! Further, please remember to bookmark our website (www.844TakeMyCase.com) and put our number in your phone (844-Take-MyCase). In this manner, we are only a click or call away, if the need arises! Stay safe contact us at any time!