We all want to believe we can drive responsibly and monitor distractions. But our attention is limited by nature, and we are often very subtly distracted from noticing things right in front of us. Depending on what you’re doing while you’re driving, you could literally miss seeing a giraffe grazing on the roadside. Because of distractions, many people have failed to see a gorilla beating its chest right in front of them, and this is no joke.
We really are not good multi-taskers when our attention is spread over tasks that require dedicated attention. That’s why conversations on cellphones turn out to be a serious distraction to drivers. Read this book and see what you think. And then see what you think about whether it’s fair to the rest of the people in your car or on the road when you allow yourself to be distracted in the special way that cellphones can distract.
Targeted Age Group:: 15+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Learning about the psychology associated with the mind and the amount of deaths associated with this each year.
We all like to think we’re in control of our mind. It’s kind of hard to imagine that we would be like the people who demonstrate in experiment after experiment that our attention easily gets away from us.
Who would think, for instance, that you could be told to keep an eye on a group of basketball players gathered together passing a couple basketballs while a gorilla walks onto the middle of the screen and waves at you – and yet you don’t even notice the gorilla.
Many experiments have shown how easily our attention is diverted, while we go on thinking we are alert to what’s right in front of us. We easily fail to see “obvious” things…including things that might need to be noticed while we’re driving a car.
We all wonder who’s having all those reported accidents blamed on texting or talking on cellphones while driving. Are those stupid drivers? Or are they distracted at just the moment when full attention is required?
The fact is that almost everyone can talk on a phone while driving without having a wreck. It’s also a fact that attention spread too thin at critical moments is behind many accidents. That’s what this little book is about – the critical moments when our full attention is required to operate a vehicle without causing harm to others or ourselves. The issue lies in those very short moments – not in the undeniable fact that we rarely have an accident while talking on the phone.
Accidents are called accidents because they are unusual. Someone slips on a small puddle of water on a restaurant floor because the puddle is nearly invisible, or steps on a nail in the grass at the city park.
Auto accidents rarely occur, compared to how many times we venture onto the roads. When we talk about accidents, we are talking only about rare moments. But cellphone use is making them less rare, enough less rare that we should drop our defenses and listen to evidence that says we are introducing a dangerous variable into our driving. It’s a little bit like pouring ourselves a small puddle of water to slip on every once in a while, or tossing a nail into the grass and thinking that we won’t step on it, since the park lawn is so big.
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