By on February 24, 2011

Think using your cell phone or other in-car distractions don’t affect your driving? Don’t try to prove it on the road (jackass), put your reaction-time skills to the test at the NYT’s multitasking reaction-time game. While using your keyboard to navigate gates, a cell phone will distract you with New Yorkian requests which you will have to answer while continuing to navigate through randomly-opening gates. The Times team that came up with the game explains

We weren’t trying to be an exact simulation of driving down the highway or the road — it’s not realistic to have all those gates and people often text in shortened words. It is a game to give you a sense of how a distraction can decrease your ability to react quickly

When you finish, the game will tell you how much multitasking impaired your ability to navigate. Let us know how you did, and if the game changed your opinion about distracted driving.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

6 Comments on “Distracted Driving: The Video Game...”

  • avatar
    N Number

    That didn’t take long to get irritating enough to abandon.

  • avatar

    The game highlights a common conundrum: your impulses don’t reflect what you value most.
    It’s like saving a bag of M&Ms while dropping your laptop. The bag of M&Ms starts falling, and in an effort to save them, you drop your laptop. You clearly don’t value the M&Ms more than your laptop, but the impulse is there.

    That’s what this – and its real life counterpart – feels like; you feel a sense of urgency in responding to the text, when there really is no reason for it. Of course you wouldn’t imperil yourself for answering a friend’s pointless text – but you do it anyways. We’re basically cavemen, so our minds and impulses don’t always match.

  • avatar

    Sure, ” We’re basically cavemen, so our minds and impulses don’t always match”.
    But you can train yourself not to follow your impulses to phone or text while driving. Or arguing with your girl friend or in-laws while doing so,  fiddling around with the stereo, sipping a drink, having lunch…

    • 0 avatar

      I couldn’t navigate it without trying to reply on their text messages.

      If they are going to start banning distractions in cars, then they better ban all of them, makeup, kids, arguing with your spouse, food, radio, because they are all equally distractions.

  • avatar

    Geez…if I had to make that many lane changes that fast in real life, I’m not even sure I’d be listening to the radio.

  • avatar

    1% more gates missed while NOT texting vs. average 8 seconds missed while texting. What? Guess I am more focused if I need to multi-task.

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: Arrested for DUI, Woman’s Probation Becomes Nightmare

    DenverMike - Exactly. Do not get cheap when it comes to your lawyers. We’re not talking plumbers here. Go to the most respected,...
  • Re: Ask Bark: Should I Lease a Jetta?

    FreedMike - This. Putting money down on a leased car is like making home improvements to an apartment. Zero financial upside.
  • Re: Ask Bark: Should I Lease a Jetta?

    FreedMike - Lots of good choices to lease for zero out of pocket…I know it’s bigger than you were thinking of but check out the Honda Accord.
  • Re: Chapter One: The Repo Man and the Lexus

    05lgt - Eagerly awaiting the next installment. That A100 pic hurt to look at. Thanks to all involved in writing and editing this.
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1998 Audi A8

    mypoint02 - A sad ending for such a sophisticated machine. In a few months this one’s gonna be someone’s beer can.
  • Re: K40 RLS2 Radar Detector Review

    JimC2 - Agree about Waze and watching the traffic up ahead for its behavior (and the guilty conscience brake lights). I’m quite happy to move over for faster traffic...
  • Re: K40 RLS2 Radar Detector Review

    05lgt - Not 100% I was pulled over with a visible detector and another suction mount in the footwell. LEO says “I see you hid your detector when you saw me.” I...
  • Re: 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium Review (with Video)

    dal20402 - Because you can get transverse-like interior packaging with a longitudinal AWD system. Does it really matter anymore now that there are some...
  • Re: K40 RLS2 Radar Detector Review

    05lgt - Consider a mirror stem mount. The suction cups don’t work all that well with the new one either. Going cord free by tapping into a powered mirrors 12v is...
  • Re: QOTD: What’s the Stupidest Automotive Feature?

    Wheatridger - I’d love to have that feature. Don’t you ever drive at night across open, dark country? The last thing you want is bright dash...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, United States
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States