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In their investigation of the way the human mind deals with multitasking, Salvucci and Taatgen determined that driving is an act that requires drivers to engage in a variety of simultaneous subtasks; when drivers choose to add interaction with an electronic device to an already complex activity, the new demands on their minds can distract them from their primary task:
The heavy cognitive workload of driving suggests that any secondary task has the potential to affect driver behavior. Any concurrent task would necessarily involve procedural steps and thus, whether large or small, create additional cognitive workload. At the same time, not all secondary tasks are created equal, and we would expect some tasks to interfere with driving more than others. Not surprisingly, tasks involving significant visual demand have the greatest potential for negative effects on driver performance. (108) 
Thus, the researchers determined that the use of electronic devices—such as cell phones—while driving can possibly place enough additional demands on the drivers’ mental capacity to compromise their ability to operate a vehicle safely.
 Salvucci, Dario D., and Niels A. Taatgen. Multitasking Mind. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 20 Feb. 2012.