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Save money -- don't multitask

This is particularly true if you're behind the wheel of your car.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 19, 2012 3:49PM

This post from Liz Weston of MSN Money originally appeared at Ask Liz Weston.

 

Car after crashing into something © RubberBall Productions/the Agency Collection/Getty ImagesThe barista had to ask three times for her order before the woman finally responded. She'd been so busy nattering away to her friend in line that she didn't notice she was now at the front.

 

And the fun wasn't over. When it was time to pay, the woman pulled out her wallet and dug fruitlessly inside, opening the same compartments over and over, all the while keeping up the nonstop chatter.

 

As the seconds ticked by and the line grew, what started out as vaguely annoying became absolutely absurd. The barista looked at me, the next person in line, and widened her eyes in exasperation.

 

I shrugged. I was just grateful I'd encountered this person in a coffee shop rather than on the road, where she probably thinks she can drive while talking on the phone just fine.

 

Obviously, she can't. None of us can. Multitasking is a myth and only works when both things you're trying to do are brain-dead simple -- like folding laundry and watching TV. Anything more complicated, and you're likely to do one or both things far worse than if you'd concentrated on a single task. (Post continues below.)

 But multitasking isn't just stupid. It can be expensive. Consider:
  • Talking on a cellphone while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk. You're four times as likely to be in an accident.
  • Texting while driving raises your chances of an accident by 20 times
  • Not only are you risking injury and death -- and the injury and death of others -- but you're just begging for a nice juicy lawsuit. As Nolo Press puts it, "Plaintiffs have argued (and some courts have agreed) that a driver was legally at fault for the accident ("negligent," in legalese) because the driver used a cellphone immediately before or during the collision."
  • If a plaintiff's attorney can successfully argue that a phone call is distracting, think how much easier his or her case will be if you were texting -- which any idiot knows you shouldn't do in a car.
  • Even if everybody walks away without stunning medical bills, you can bet your life your auto insurance rates will skyrocket.

 

It's not that hard to turn off the phone and put it away when you drive. You'll drive better, and you could save yourself a fortune.

 

More on MSN Money:

 

2Comments
Apr 21, 2012 9:29PM
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I get so tired of drivers driving erratically and when I look to see what kind of person drives this badly-What do I see but a phone up to their ear. We may have to make new laws forbiding using a phone while driving as I seem to see more and more of this. Some people are driving badly enough with no phone in the ear.LOL
Apr 25, 2012 11:33AM
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WE CAN SAVE LOTS OF MONEY BY NOT PAITING DOUBLE YELLOW LINES ON THE ROADS ANYMORE...EVERYONE CROSSES THEM ANYWAY, ESPECIALLY WHEN TEXTING OR TALKING ON THEIR CELLS...I HAVE TO SWERVE OUT OF THE WAY AT LEAST ONCE A DAY!
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