A Game of Text and Crash

On the subject of how daft texting and driving is, here’s a whacked game-style simulation of the activity, published by the New York Times (Gauging Your Distraction):

Distracted Driving Game - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com

As your vehicle speeds down the interstate, you’re supposed to steer it through the numbered gates as they open, all the while maintaining a text conversation with a friend.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a great exercise in the impossibility of maintaining two states of very different attentiveness.

And, to reiterate my earlier post: if you do this in real life, you’re a total moron.

One thought on “A Game of Text and Crash

  1. After doing the course, I was quite impressed. I was only 0.24 seconds slower while texting. However, I was too distracted to see the grey lady.

    Really interesting but not an accurate assessment. There is a difference between skills we do automatically and ones we have to manually process. Psychology defines these tasks as complex and automatic. So for most of us experienced drivers, driving is an automatic task and texting varies from being automatic to manual based on your experience.

    A novice driver would have a harder time texting while driving because driving is still a complex task. A novice texter would find driving and texting challenging because texting is a complex task. Does this mean that if both driving and texting are automatic tasks it’s okay to text and drive? Of course not! It just means that the assessment only measures two complex tasks and needs to be modified to measure automatic tasks as well.

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