Pennsylvania drivers who have recently been in an online meeting are more likely to be involved in an accident than those who weren’t. What could be attributed to this increased risk? The answer lies in the multi-tasking habits of drivers.
A struggle to gain concentration
As many Americans switched to virtual working environments throughout 2020, some workers experienced their first online meetings. What may have seemed an odd experience to start out with became second nature for most people. However, this added screen time is making it difficult for workers to walk away from the computer and focus while behind the wheel.
In a survey of 1,819 adults, 54% reported a decrease in their ability to concentrate on the roadway after attending virtual conferences. This lack of concentration falls into the distracted driving category, which is responsible for 10% of all car accidents throughout the country each year.
Driving on autopilot while multi-tasking
Switching from in-person meetings to virtual meetups has provided the opportunity for many workers to multi-task. Whether it’s feeding the baby or folding a load of laundry while listening to a meeting, workers are multi-tasking more than they’re used to. This has led to a stark increase in multi-tasking while behind the wheel as well.
Many drivers are simply putting their driving responsibility on autopilot while they focus on other tasks, like thinking about their finances or making phone calls. While autopilot driving can work for a little while, the reduction in attention on the roadway can make it harder for drivers to react to unexpected obstacles.
As more employees participate in remote working, it’s inadvertently changing the way that they drive. More drivers are attempting to multi-task behind the wheel, and many are finding it hard just to concentrate on the task of driving. Awareness of these struggles needs to be spread to the general population to help reduce the effects that virtual conferences are having on drivers.