# Driving Makes Talk Less Good

I think it is now well known that driving while talking on the mobile impairs driving; did you know that the opposite is also true? If you want to do something at your best, do only that thing.
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Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
February 2010, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 15-21

# Driving impairs talking

It is well known that conversation (e.g, on a cell phone) impairs driving. We demonstrate that the reverse is also true: Language production and comprehension, and the encoding of the products of comprehension into memory, are less accurate when one is driving. Ninety-six pairs of drivers and conversation partners engaged in a story-retelling task in a driving simulator. Half of the pairs were older adults. Each pair completed one dual-task block (driving during the retelling task) and two single-task control blocks. The results showed a decline in the accuracy of the drivers’ storytelling and of their memory for stories that were told to them by their nondriving partners. Speech production suffered an additional cost when the difficulty of driving increased. Measures of driving performance suggested that the drivers gave priority to the driving task when they were conversing. As a result, their linguistic performance suffered.