Is Your Reaction Time Faster Than Lewis Hamilton’s?

Are you as fast as a brand new smartphone, or a decade old laptop?

byJames Gilboy|
Electric Vehicles photo


Recombu, in conjunction with JustPark, are offering a simple test of your reaction time. The premise is simple: watch the car move down the road, and tap the screen when the big red stop sign appears. If you embarrass yourself with a score you wish not to share, you get another try with only a click. They claim that Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has a reaction time of an approximate 200 milliseconds, or one fifth of a second. I am comfortable with sharing my personal best, which is 293 milliseconds. Read my excuse in your best Eddie Deezen voice: In my defense, I will have you know I managed 160 milliseconds in high school while trying to impress a girl, even if it was only a fluke... and I may have only slept only five hours last night.

Why the excuse? Well, the research cited on the reaction test's page states that a large number of factors, such as age, sex, frequency of driving, years of driving experience, dominant hand, consumption of alcohol and caffeine, and sleeping habits have an effect on your reaction time. They did, however, neglect to log the effects that physical fitness has on reaction time, with those in better shape having better reaction times than those who do no exercise. That said, if I am to be honest, I did throw back an energy drink earlier this morning. Let us pretend these factors cancel out, and that it represents me in a well-rested, sober state.

The research also suggests that drivers who have had their license for a span longer than two years see their reaction times drop off, which is, in all likelihood, due to complacency. If your reaction time measures in the four, or even five digits of milliseconds, it may be time to pass down the Mercury Sable. It's 2017; a Lyft for grandma may be the answer if she's getting too slow on the draw.

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