Okay, not really. But they are offering a little multimedia game on their website to illustrate how texting while driving slows reaction time and can lead to awkward incidents, like plowing into a toll booth at 80 miles per hour.
And for all you competitive folks, it even tells you at the end how reduced your reaction times were while texting and compares your results to the rest of the test-takers. When I tried it, the average player took 0.24 seconds longer to react while texting – but I was only reduced by 0.03 seconds, so suck it, average NYTimes.com reader!
This, of course, comes on the wake of a Car and Driver story from June 2009 in which the esteemed magazine (which is sort of like The New York Times of auto journalism, actually. Coincidence?) tested the reflexes of their 37-year-old editor-in-chief Eddie Alterman (give me a job, Eddie!) and a 22-year-old web intern, Jordan Brown while texting – then compared those times to the participants’ reaction times while drunk.
Interestingly, both subjects reported better reflexes while drunk than while texting. Sadly, no drunk texting was performed, at least during the instrumented portion of the test. You can read the whole story at Car and Driver’s website.