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Only 2.5 % of Population Can Drive ‘Safely’ While on Phone

March 30, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY - In a new study, psychologists have identified a group of people who can successfully do two things at once, in this case talking on a cell phone while operating a driving simulator without noticeable impairment, according to

Supertaskers only make up about 2.5 percent of the general population, however, study team member James Watson of the University of Utah told

"Given the number of individuals who routinely talk on the phone while driving, one would have hoped that there would be a greater percentage of supertaskers," Watson said, according to LiveScience.

"And while we'd probably all like to think we are the exception to the rule, the odds are overwhelmingly against it. In fact, the odds of being a supertasker are about as good as your chances of flipping a coin and getting five heads in a row."

In the study, the researchers assessed the performance of 200 participants over a single task (simulated freeway driving), and again with a second demanding activity (a cell phone conversation that involved memorizing words and solving math problems). Performance was then measured in four areas: braking reaction time, following distance, memory, and math execution.

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