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Stanford Medicine

Technology

OK, now drivers who text REALLY freak me out

I’m a vociferous talking-on-cellphone-while-driving opponent. I think people who do it are dumber than dirt, and I USED to think that people who text are ten times worse. But my disdain has ballooned into unfettered fear, and I now consider texters a zillion times worse than talkers. Thank you, New York Times, for publishing this fun little game.

This game illustrates how external distractions affect concentration and reaction time. It puts you behind the wheel of a car racing down a roadway full of closed gates. If you’re paying attention to the on-coming gates, a little sign will tell you which one you need to open. No biggie. Then they up the ante and add a cellphone with a text message. You have to read the message, then answer it–exactly as it’s written–and send it, while trying to keep an eye on the gates. If this remotely simulates someone who is texting while driving, I’m trading in my Honda this weekend for an armor-plated Hum-Vee.

Also interesting is the NSC factsheet on cell phone use while driving.

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