You know you've done things while driving besides driving. Old ppl at the Times would like you to know: it's bad, shame on you, and you should play our video game to see how good at it you are.

No, seriously, you're way too distracted. I know I am. Things I can do while driving, at the same time:

  • Use a stick shift,

  • smoke a cigarette,

  • change CDs,

  • drink a slurpee,

  • and talk on the phone.

But isn't that talent, though? I could probably eat a cheeseburger, too-which some places actually encourage, especially on the West Coast, where In-N-Out will hand you your food in a box to eat "in your car"-but it wouldn't go well with the Cig and the Slurpee. Apparently, this kind of thing isn't appreciated by The Olds at the Times, especially when teenagers do it:

"Extensive research shows the dangers of distracted driving. Studies say that drivers using phones are four times as likely to cause a crash as other drivers, and the likelihood that they will crash is equal to that of someone with a .08 percent blood alcohol level, the point at which drivers are generally considered intoxicated. Research also shows that hands-free devices do not eliminate the risks, and may worsen them by suggesting that the behavior is safe. "

So I guess what they're saying is that it's better to get behind the wheel kind of drunk than be on your phone. Oh, and some places, it's illegal.

Anyway, the only part of this Times article that's revelatory in any regard (because the entire thing is basically "if you're doing anything but driving you're going to crash," which I think they teach you in Drivers Ed but don't remember because I was napping) is that the New York Times makes crafty videogames!

Amazing. Basically, you have to use the numbers at the top of your keyboard (not your keypad, because that would be cheating) to pick out the "gate" your call will drive through while clicking letters on a phone with your mouse to simulate texting. It's pretty fun and you will laugh at how many times you crash into the gates, but also, how terrible of a simulation texting and driving is, particularly because the game has you changing five lanes every two seconds, but mostly because texting and driving is way easier than that, duh. Besides which, it's like your parents say: it's not you you're worried about. It's the other drivers.

The US Atlas Of Texting-While-Driving Laws [Jalopnik]

Drivers and Legislators Dismiss Cellphone Risks [NYT]

Silly New York Times Driving Video Game [NYT]