advertisement
24 April 2013

Voice to text just as dangerous to drivers as texting

Using voice to send text messages while driving is just as dangerous as texting with fingers.

0

Using voice to send text messages while driving is just as dangerous as texting with fingers, with driver response times significantly delayed no matter which method was used, a study released showed.

The study by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University was the first to compare voice-to-text and traditional texting on a handheld device in an actual driving environment.

"In each case, drivers took about twice as long to react as they did when they weren't texting," said Christine Yager, who headed the study. "Eye contact to the roadway also decreased, no matter which texting method was used."

How the research was done

The research involved 43 participants driving along a test track without any electronic devices present. The same participants then drove while texting and again while using a speech-to-text device.

Yager said speech-to-text actually took longer than traditional texting, due to the need to correct errors in the electronic transcription.

"You're still using your mind to try to think of what you're trying to say, and that by proxy causes some driving impairment, and that decreases your response time," Yager said.

The biggest concern is that the driver felt safer while using voice-to-text applications instead of traditional texting, even though driving performance was equally affected, she said.

This may lead to a false belief that texting while driving using spoken commands is safe when in reality it is not, Yager said.

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association says 6.1 billion text messages per day were sent in the United States in 2012. Some 35% of drivers admit to reading a text or email while driving in any given month, while 26% admitted to typing one, according to data from AAA, a national drivers' organisation.

"Every day, new technologies come out, and it is important to educate the public that even these seemingly new distractions are still distractions, and it will help people be safer when they get into the vehicle," Yager said.

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

ManNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Are you sure? »

Aid your digestion What are digestive disorders?

Are you really constipated?

Many people think that if they do not have two or more bowel movements every single day of their lives they are constipated. This is patently not true, writes DietDoc.

True of False? »

SEE: How anaphylactic shock affects your body

Stop believing these 10 allergy myths

Do you still believe that hay fever is caused by hay? Or that food allergies are really common? No, and no again. We bust 10 myths about allergies.