Performance Thinking

Expert information and solutions for your business.

Five Lies About Multitasking While Driving

Auto Coverage

Many drivers are convinced that it is okay to multitask while driving, but crash statistics and studies on distracted driving indicate it is not safe.  The National Safety Council estimates that cell phone use alone accounts for at least 25% of crashes.  It is estimated that at a typical daylight moment, about 416,000 passenger vehicle drivers are using handheld cell phones while driving. 

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and in this blog post we debunk five lies concerning multitasking while driving that many drivers believe as truth:

Lie #1: I can multitask while driving.

Truth: You may be able to do more than one task at a time, but if the tasks require cognitive activities (thinking), the brain rapidly switches between the two activities, processing each one separately instead of simultaneously. For example, you can walk and chew gum at the same time because one is a thinking task and the other is a non-thinking task. On the other hand, driving and talking on a cell phone are both thinking tasks.

Lie #2: Using a hands-free device makes talking on a cell phone safer while driving.

Truth: Hands-free devices do remove the manual distraction of holding a phone while talking, however, the cognitive distraction (brain distraction) is still present due to the conversation. Studies have shown that talking on a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by as much as 37 percent. This results in “inattention blindness” which occurs when a driver is not fully aware of all that is going on ahead, around and behind the vehicle.  A recent AAA study showed that a driver can be distracted up to 27 seconds after sending a voice text.

Lie #3: A cell phone conversation is the same as talking to a passenger in my vehicle.

Truth: Studies have shown that talking on a cell phone is a greater distraction to the driver than talking to someone in the vehicle. The passenger in the vehicle can actually be a “second set” of eyes to alert the driver to possible hazards. Typically, adult passengers will adjust their conversation when traffic is difficult whereas the person on the other end of the cell phone will not since they are not aware of the changing traffic conditions.

Lie #4: I do not get distracted while driving because I do not use my cell phone.

Truth: Long before cell phones, we had plenty of other things to distract us. All of those possible distractions still exist and there are new ones besides the cell phone. Eating, drinking, personal grooming, adjusting vehicle controls, newspaper, GPS, work files, laptop and happenings outside of the vehicle … the list of distractions is endless. Basically, anything that takes your mind, eyes or hands away from the task of driving is a distraction.

Lie #5: It’s just a quick glance away from the road; it will not matter.

Truth: It does matter. Psychologists estimate the average driver will make at least 400 observations and 40 decisions based on those observations every two miles. At 60 mph, a 3 second “glance away” will result in missing 10 observations and 1 decision while traveling almost the length of a football field. That’s just in 3 seconds! Studies show that it takes the average person at least 5 seconds to dial a number on their phone.

As drivers, we need to realize the truth that multitasking and driving are not a good combination. The stakes are extremely high, involving not only a driver’s quality of life but that of others who may be impacted by the outcome of a resulting crash. Avoid the temptation to talk or text on the phone by simply turning your phone off or placing it in the glove box or center console while driving.

Personal Umbrella Insurance Coverage

Umbrella Insurance

At Scott, our Personal Insurance team is committed to helping individuals and families protect their hard-earned assets.  Our dedicated team of professionals provides the highest level of service and world-class insurance coverage, including:

•  Home, including coastal properties and estates
•  Auto, including antique/classic vehicles
•  Motorcycles, ATVs and RVs
•  Boats, yachts and personal watercraft
•  Private aviation
•  Jewelry, fine arts, guns, private collections, etc.
•  Flood and earthquake
•  Workers’ Compensation for domestic staff
•  Professional liability
•  Personal umbrella policies

While most people are familiar with the more common coverages of home and auto insurance, another important coverage that we highly recommend for our clients is a personal umbrella insurance policy. 

Read Full Story

Dangers of Distracted Driving

Auto Coverage

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention away from the main task of driving.1 It is something that is both dangerous and disturbingly common. In fact, an estimated 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices while driving during daylight hours.2 You may be surprised to learn that cell phones and texting are just part of the problem when it comes to distracted driving. While stowing your phone while you drive is an important safety step, other behaviors behind the wheel, from drinking coffee to using a navigation system, may also be putting you at risk. 

Read Full Story

What Drives Personal Auto Insurance Rates?

Auto Coverage

If you drive a vehicle, you are required by law to have personal auto insurance. But why do we need it?

Consider hitting a car and injuring three passengers. If both your vehicle and the other vehicle are valued at $20,000 and considered total losses, and each passenger has medical claims of $20,000, this quickly adds up to $100,000! That’s an amount most individuals wouldn’t want to have to include in their annual budgets.

The function of insurance is to accept the risk from many people to pay for the losses of the few. Personal auto insurance protects drivers from having to personally pay for all the damages they are responsible for resulting from an auto accident. Even though you paid your insurance company much less in premiums, the insurance company pays these higher amounts on your behalf based on your policy coverage.  

Read Full Story