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View Diary: Text someone who's driving, and you might get sued: a torts lesson (159 comments)

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  •  Texting While Driving is TIME SHARING Not Multi- (6+ / 0-)

    tasking. You watch the road for a moment, you watch the device for a moment. You can't do both at the same time.

    Playing a whistle or harmonica while driving, possibly steering with the leg, would be multi-tasking. I'd feel much safer seeing a driver doing that than texting. Many musicians train to use their eyes while playing: reading sheet music for example, or marching.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:03:50 PM PDT

    •  Yup (4+ / 0-)
      How come? The Utah folks speculated that multitaskers would be more apt to test high for traits like risk-taking, sensation-seeking and impulsivity. Turns out the researchers were right.


      They found that the people who multitasked the most in real life — the impulsive risk-takers — were actually much worse at juggling tasks than people who rarely drove while phoning.

      Even worse, these demon multitaskers thought they were terrific at it, though the cold, hard data proved they weren't.

      "People don't multitask because they're good at it," says , a professor of psychology at the University of Utah and lead author of the , which was published online in the journal PLOS One. "They do it because they are more distracted. They have trouble inhibiting the impulse to do another activity."

      Seventy percent of the study participants, all college undergraduates, said they thought they were better than average at multitasking. Of course, that's statistically impossible — a drivers' ed version of Lake Wobegon, with all multitasking drivers above average.

      So the drivers who are most likely to be risk takers are the ones who "multi-task."  That may explain why texting and driving accidents always seem so catastrophic. These may be drivers who engage in other risky driving behaviors, like speeding, following too close, abrupt lane changes, etc.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 04:24:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The old conflation of median vs mean. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101, TFinSF, ebohlman
        Seventy percent of the study participants, all college undergraduates, said they thought they were better than average at multitasking. Of course, that's statistically impossible.
        Let's say you have 70 undergraduate statistics students score 100% on their final exam.  Thirty others get a zero.  The average exam score is 70%, and 70 students are above average.

        It's unlikely that a class would rank out that way, and it's doubtful that even the author of the linked article would have scored a zero, but then again she probably didn't even take the class.

        "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

        by craiger on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:07:22 PM PDT

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        •  More important is the failure to assign (0+ / 0-)

          a reference group to "average". Better than whose average? The general population? Undergraduates in general? Undergraduates at their particular school? People they personally know? It's the statistical version of the passive voice.

          A few years ago, there was some brouhaha over the fact that the crime rate for NBA players was higher than that of the general population. However, the "general population" was a meaningless comparison group in this case, since about 63% of the general population consists of women and children whereas NBA rules restrict players to being adult men. Most of the difference vanished when you picked "adult males" as the comparison group (after properly adjusting for other factors like socioeconomic background, the NBA players wound up having a lower crime rate than demographically similar groups).

          Personally, as a physician, I would be very concerned at a child becoming febrile after having ingested bleach or had it shot up his rectum—Orac (Respectful Insolence)

          by ebohlman on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:46:51 PM PDT

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        •  The paper isn't conflating mean with median (0+ / 0-)

          the paper conflates median with median.

          Reasonable suspicion? How can being wrong 98.6% of the time ever be reasonable?

          by happymisanthropy on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:17:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The bottom line is everyone sucks at (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "multi-tasking" and it's just a spiffy ad slogan to get folks to buy more shit, and work harder to buy more shit.

          Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

          by PsychoSavannah on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:59:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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