Avoid multi-tasking behind the wheel

Submitted by:
Travis Yates


We are all familiar with the dangers of multi-tasking but few of us really understand it. We think that we can multi-task, and as long as we are looking at the roadway, everything will be fine. That is why we see the popularity of hands-free devices but this reveals our misunderstanding of multi-tasking. The trouble does not lie in the task of looking, but the attention resources that are taken away from us when we do the activity.

Driving (and just about anything else we do) will draw on the already limited awareness that our brain has. The more our brain does, the worse it will do each task. Our awareness is limited and recent data showing similar dangers with hands-free devices shows us just that.

The above tip is excerpted from an upcoming column by Travis Yates which will appear on PoliceOne on Monday, November 15, 2010. If you have a tactical tip to share with fellow officers on PoliceOne, send us an email.

Officer Safety issues are of paramount importance to us. Armed with the knowledge that vehicles have killed officers in higher numbers than have firearms in recent few years, we have brought on a columnist who focuses on law enforcement driver training and safer pursuits.

In 2003, more officers died from crashes while in pursuits than in than any of the last 30 years. To help bring down those numbers, we are proud to introduce PoliceOne columnist, Capt. Travis Yates.

Captain Travis Yates is a Team Leader with the Tulsa Police Precision Driver Training Unit. He is a nationally recognized driving instructor and a certified instructor in tire deflation devices and the pursuit intervention technique. Capt. Yates has a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern State University. He moderates www.policedriving.com, a website dedicated to law enforcement driving issues.

Contact Travis Yates

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