akirk wrote:That can't be true...
We can all walk / breath / etc. simultaneously - I can walk, breathe and juggle at the same time - loads of combinations of things we can do together...
It must be about balance between subconscious and conscious surely?
Yes of course it is, and also what is meant by 'simultaneous'. It might be true that parts of the brain can only focus on one task at a time, but if (for example) that complete focus only lasts for fractions of a second and/or is being switched rapidly between tasks then for practical purposes you can deal with a number of things 'simultaneously'.
Many contributors to this thread seem to think that mobile phones are somehow uniquely distracting, whereas the reality is that almost everything we do whilst driving has the potential to dangerously distract attention from another task. What happens when you look in the mirrors for example?
It is quite possible to have someone blathering away to you on a mobile phone and pay no more attention to them than someone blathering away on the radio. How any potential distraction actually affects driving is entirely down to individual drivers.
Good reason for training and sensible guidelines, not good reason for bans.