New study slams multitasking driversPA

Do you think you are capable of fiddling with the radio, drinking a coffee and talking on the phone without it affecting your driving abilities?

Those who answer "yes" are most likely to be the least capable of multitasking while driving according to new research brought to light by the RAC.

Psychologists examined 310 students to measure their actual and perceived multitasking ability. Use of phones while driving, which is of course illegal, was also tested, along with a variety of personality traits.

Lead researcher Professor David Sanbonmatsu, from the University of Utah, said the results indicate that the people talking on phones behind the wheel are people who are incapable of doing two things at once.

"We showed that people who multitask the most are those who appear to be the least capable of multitasking effectively," he said.

The findings also reveal that drivers multi-tasking abilities actually worsens every time they attempt to tackle two tasks at once.

Despite this, those who multitask believe their multitasking ability to be much higher than it is. Seven out of 10 participants considered themselves above average at multitasking, a feat that is statistically impossible.

And people who can multitask tend not to, according to the study.

The RAC warns, "Using a phone while driving without a hands-free or Bluetooth system is not only illegal, but is also highly dangerous. As well as the physical risks, higher accident rates can lead to higher car insurance premiums."