When you’re driving, if you think that voice-to-text technology makes it safer to text than actually pressing the keys, put down your device now. A new study from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute shows no real safety advantage in voice-to-text technology.
The first-of-its-kind study found drivers took nearly twice as long to react to sudden roadway hazards when they were texting than when they were not – regardless of whether they were pressing the keys or using voice-to-text technology. And, drivers spent significantly less time looking at the road when they were texting, also regardless of how they texted. Drivers felt safer using the voice technology, but they weren’t safer, according to the study, which found “driving performance suffered equally with both methods.”
This is the first study based on people driving on a closed course, and the first to compare texting methods on handheld devices as opposed to devices built into the vehicles.
At EndDD.org we know that when you’re driving, you should only be driving. No eating, applying cosmetics, reading the newspaper, dialing a phone, or texting. There are many different kinds of distractions luring drivers into accidents and deadly crashes, especially teen drivers. The EndDD interactive presentation, developed with behavioral, health, public safety and other experts, aims to educate young people and adults about how they can be distracted, and how dangerous those distractions can be to everyone in the car and on the road.
The Southwest Region University Transportation Center sponsored this study as part of the University Transportation Centers Program funded by the federal government and administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration.