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Texting While Working Increases Risk of Errors
A person may be at a high risk of accidents not just if they text while driving, but also texting while working many other tasks. A new study finds that even short interruptions while performing an activity, like taking a few seconds to read a text message, can be distracting enough to increase the risk of errors. Such findings are especially relevant to workplace safety.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Michigan State University who recruited 300 people for the study. These persons were required to perform a sequence-based procedure on a computer.
The researchers found that when these persons were given interruptions for about 3 seconds, the error rate increased by 100%. The results of the study have been published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
The researchers say that they were very surprised to see that very brief interruptions of just a couple of seconds were sufficient to increase the risk of errors in these people. The interruptions were so brief that the time taken to react to these interruptions, was likely not the reason for the increase in errors. It’s more likely that this increase in errors was due to the diverting of attention from the task at hand. While performing the task, the participants had to immediately turn their attention from the task at hand, to the interruption, and this increased their error rate.
California personal injury lawyers who are already concerned about the risk from distractions to drivers, will be even more concerned at these latest findings. A worker in the workplace may be subject to several distractions and interruptions in a day. Distractions come from electronic devices, from other workers and a number of other sources. There can be very dangerous consequences when certain persons, like aircraft mechanics or surgeons are distracted in this manner.
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