Study Claims Voice-to-Text is Just as Dangerous as Manual Texting While Driving
April 23, 2013 9:12 AM
Study findings show voice to text is no safer
A new study conducted at Texas A&M University by the Texas Transportation Institute comparing voice-to-text and traditional texting using a smartphone in an actual driving environment. The people behind the study report that the findings show using voice-to-text services are no safer than texting manually while driving.
"In each case, drivers took about twice as long to react as they did when they weren't texting," Christine Yager, who headed the study, told Reuters. "Eye contact to the roadway also decreased, no matter which texting method was used."
The researchers involved in the study used 43 different drivers and had them drive along a test track repeatedly while performing various tasks. The participants drove along the track, with no electronic devices in the car to distract them during one session. The participants then drove along the same test track while using voice to text applications on a smartphone, and another time the drivers drove along the same track on texting manually. Participants used both the iPhone and Android devices during the test.
Interestingly, the study found that using speech to text actually took longer for drivers than traditional texting because the need to go back and correct the often garbled texts composed using voice services.
The study highlights a significant safety concern in that while it found drivers were no safer using voice-to-text services as opposed to manually texting, drivers reported feeling safer when using the former.
Several states and individual cities around the country currently have laws on the books banning texting while driving without using a hands-free device. California is one such state where it is illegal to manually text while driving, but it is
legal to send text messages
using voice-controlled devices. Many automotive manufacturers are also integrating technology into their vehicles supporting hands-free services for phone calls and texting. One of the most popular is
, which is available on nearly every Ford vehicle.
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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