As a society, Americans frown on laziness. Many people pride themselves on their work ethic and may even brag about how many hours a week they put in at their job or how little they sleep at night because of everything they do.
Some people prioritize their job so much that it overshadows every other aspect of their life. They might compulsively respond to text messages or emails from their employer or clients while at family dinners or even while driving their car.
While dedication to your job can lead to professional success, putting job responsibilities before other obligations can be a mistake, especially if they start to affect your safety and the safety of others around you. There are at least two ways in which people who are constantly busy and overworked might be a danger to others on the road.
No professional can really multitask safely
No matter how good people think they are at being busy and handling multiple responsibilities at the same time, the human brain cannot truly multitask. It will always focus more fully on one of the current tasks and not truly on both of them simultaneously.
People trying to get dressed on their commute, respond to an email at the wheel or eat their breakfast on the way to work won’t have their full attention on the road and could potentially cause a crash that hurts them or someone else.
Sleep deprivation is also a safety risk on the road
Only getting six hours of sleep a night or pulling back-to-back shifts at work isn’t necessarily something to brag about. In fact, it might be something very dangerous for you. When you go a long time without sleep, your reaction times increase, your ability to focus decreases and your overall driving skill declines.
So many people push themselves past the workload and lifestyle they can reasonably manage that sleep deprivation affects road safety. Federal agencies report that one in 25 drivers self-report falling asleep at the wheel in the last month.
Letting go of the need to be busy all the time, turning the ringer off on your phone and prioritizing enough rest can help people say safer on the road and reduce your personal risk of causing a serious motor vehicle crash.