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Study points to dangers of texting while driving

A recent study points to the fact that while some people may honestly believe they are perfectly capable of texting and driving, the truth is there is a decrease in the level of performance when a person tries to complete two visual tasks at the same time. One could make the assumption that this decrease in performance could lead to a car accident.

The study looked at two types of multitasking. The first group was asked to perform a visual task with an audio task, while the second group was given two visual tasks.

For the first group, the participants sat at computer screens and had to complete a pattern-matching puzzle while also using a voice chat to give a woman direction to a job interview. The second group also completed the same puzzle, but used instant messaging software to give the directions.

Afterwards, the group that had both visuals -- the puzzle and instant messaging -- reported higher ratings for how well they thought they did on completing the tasks. However, the truth was that this group's actual performance was not as high as the group who used voice chat to give directions.

The lead author of the study, Zheng Wang, said the results of this study can be compared to those drivers who try to text and drive at the same time.

Wang went on to say that while the data surrounding the decrease in performance was not surprising, what is surprising is people's perceptions of their ability to perform two visual tasks at once.


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