It might seem common sense to put your full concentration on the road while driving, but few of us do so.
Researchers from the University of Houston and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute wanted to see how drivers coped when distracted by absentminded thoughts, emotions, and text messages.
And their results indicate that the worst kind of distraction may be checking your phone.
The researchers found that people who drove while absentminded or emotional benefitted from a sixth sense instinct that helped them navigate safely but no so those who were texting.
During the study 59 drivers were asked to navigate a stretch of highway four times: once under normal conditions, once while they were asked cognitively challenging questions, once while being asked emotionally charged questions, and once while distracted by texts.
The drivers were found to be distracted and jittery by all three things but when they were asked cognitively challenging and emotionally stirring questions, they were able to maintain a straight course; while texting led them to veer out of their lane.