Mastering Super Attention

Super-attention occurs when a single-task focus on driving begins to feel comfortable. It still requires effort but feels natural. By using the Drive Mindfully CD for three weeks every time you drive you will begin to feel this.

Multitasking Kills

It is important to know that our attention is so limited that we can’t focus fully on more than one task at a time. The reason that we are able to multitask is that we are creatures of habit, able to do any number of things automatically.  Habits allow us to devote attention to other tasks. We can do several habitual activities at once by periodically giving each a tad of attention.

Because we can multitask does not mean that we should. It is possible to drive, plan later activities, have a meal, use the phone and review earlier events. However, you are not in your office, your kitchen, or an arcade. You are piloting a steel missile.

There are several harmful and dangerous effects of multitasking when driving. It increases stress levels. Since one task is usually shortening road time it is easily interrupted. If the driver ahead does something egregious like driving the speed limit, all your multitasking is interrupted and the reaction can be extreme anger. People get angrier behind the wheel more than anywhere else because their many tasks are stressing them, and, for some strange reason, they don’t expect interruptions.

The worst consequence is the increased likelihood of killing someone.  A recent study by Dr. David Strayer at the University of Utah found that talking on a cell phone, even hands-free, increased the likelihood of having an accident FOURFOLD! He was using a driving simulator and was able to measure exactly what the driver saw and did not see. Having a phone conversation takes up so much mental space that many events don’t register. Dr. Strayer reported that it was equivalent to driving while intoxicated. When you talk on the phone while driving you are an impaired driver!

Keeping your focus solely on driving is not easy because driving is a habitual task. The mind wants to go on automatic. I founded Drive Mindfully, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, in response to my wife Rebecca being killed by distracted driving. Our mission is to increase public awareness of the consequences of distracted driving and to provide educational materials to train drivers in better attentional skills. Click here to find out more about our Mindful Driving training package.  The benefits of driving mindfully are that it is calming, eliminates road rage and saves lives.

Copyright © 2008-2010 DRIVE MINDFULLY, INC., All Rights Reserved.