Personal Resilience – Distractions Kill

This is a challenging video.  Watch it if you;
  • have not read FLY! (page 17-18), or
  • think you are an above average driver, or
  • think you can text and drive cars safely at the same time, or
  • don’t know why its potentially DEADLY to DISTRACT yourself while undertaking CRITICAL tasks.


Please understand

Please understand two things about driving:

  1. Habits (muscle memory) in your fast brain can do simple automated tasks like hitting a tennis ball or operating a vehicle. You can drive a car using the auto-pilot that is your fast mind. But this is a limited skill, and it’s no better than a lane-tracker or a simple cruise control that maintains a speed.
  2. To be a SAFE and RESILIENT driver, you need the single-tasking services of THOUGHT, AWARENESS, CONSCIOUSNESS and PREDICTION in your slow (cortical) brain to MONITOR your environment, MONITOR your driving, build-maintain your SITUATION AWARENESS and to ALERT/PROTECT you to/from THREATS and EXCEPTIONS.

The Threats of Distractions

The consequences of distracting yourself while you undertake critical tasks can include loss of your and/or others’ lives.

When you allow your conscious senses to become distracted, your vision, consciousness, awareness and predictions for your primary task become disconnected.

We have probably all noticed people walking head-down looking at their mobile device.  They walk blindly into obstacles, other people or onto dangerous roads.   Texting drivers are distracted on the roads no less that texting pedestrians are distracted on footpaths.

A distracted driver is mindless and blind.   The risk of distracting yourself by texting while driving is no different to the risk of being distracted by loud noises or fighting children in the back seats.

Stay Alive

The conclusion we come to when we understand the limitations of our mind is simple –



Pilots are taught to understand, recognise and avoid distractions during critical phases of flight:

  • Pilots never play music in the cockpit.
  • Pilots only discuss operational matters below 20,000 feet.
  • Pilots remain silent during takeoff and landing except for standard operating procedures or emergency actions.


  1. Don’t wear headphones or do anything to to inhibit-distract your senses when you are moving (walking, running, cycling, driving, snow skiing …).
  2. Don’t undertake any activity that distracts your slow mind while driving……
  3. Don’t go head-down looking at your iPhone while walking.
  4. Surgeons – think again before playing music during surgery (the most important person in the operating theatre is the patient).

Dunning Kruger Effect


Most people are overconfident in their driving skills.  A survey by the AAA found that despite the fact that more than 90 percent of crashes are the result of human error, three-quarters (73 percent) of U.S. drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers. Men, in particular, are confident in their driving skills with 8 in 10 considering their driving skills better than average.

If you are an overconfident driver, and if you continue to text while driving after viewing the video (above) and reading this information, then by definition you also suffer from the Dunning-Kruger Effect* (FLY! page 128) and are driving to the top of Mount Stupid.

* “Unskilled and Unaware of it” by Professor David Dunning and Justin Kruger


In my book FLY!, I analyse the elements of Personal (and corporate) Resilience.

Whilst this video addresses the dangers of texting and driving, the threats of distractions exist every time we conduct critical activities.

If you text and drive, text and walk, or distract yourself at critical times – then you DESTROY YOUR AND OTHERS’ RESILIENCE

For the benefit of your loved ones, second victims and others – don’t do it.

This is not “rocket science”, just simple neuroscience.

Armed with this information, it’s now your turn to FLY!

2 thoughts on “Personal Resilience – Distractions Kill

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