Sunday, January 07, 2007

Reaction Time

Undoubtedly you’ve experienced a phenomenon known in physics as reaction time (in ecology, we call it lag time). This is the time it takes to respond to a change in one’s environment. For example: you are stopped at a red light. The light changes green. You cannot instantly accelerate because you must first process the change in the environment (light changes from red to green) and then properly react (step on the gas). Oddly enough, the nanoseconds it takes for your brain to process this information and send a signal to your right leg results in a one or two second delay in your acceleration.

In geological time, this is not worth mentioning. In New Jersey time, this is a crime against humanity. I offer today’s example of road rage where a truck driver, fifth in line from the front laid on his horn the instant the light changed. He continued to honk his horn until he began accelerating, and then proceeded to run the red light. Our raging truck driver demonstrates how most New Jersey-ans do not understand reaction time*.

*The exception to this rule is when you are the first car in line. When in that position, a Jersey driver has a perfect understanding of reaction time and will demonstrate their knowledge by politely giving the finger to horn honkers.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

That was my first lesson in NJ driving. How fast people will honk at you. I was amazed but quickly adapted.