Voice-Activated Texting Dangers Highlighted in New Study
- Voice-to-text is just as dangerous as manual texting in a car, a new study has found.
- Driver response times were "significantly delayed" no matter which texting method was used, said the Texas Transportation Institute study.
- The study, which looked at the use of Siri for the iPhone and Vlingo for Android, is said to be the first of its kind.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Voice-to-text is just as dangerous as manual texting in a car, a new study has found.
Driver response times were "significantly delayed" no matter which texting method was used, said the Texas Transportation Institute study. The study looked at voice-to-text applications, including Siri for the iPhone and Vlingo for Android.
The study, which was released on Tuesday, is said to be the first of its kind to compare voice-to-text and manual texting on a handheld device in an actual driving environment. Researchers looked at the performance of 43 drivers in a 2009 Ford Explorer on a closed course.
"Texting drivers may believe they're being more careful when they use the voice-to-text method, but new research findings suggest that those applications offer no real safety advantage over manual texting," researchers said.
Drivers took about twice as long to react as they did when they weren't texting.
"For most tasks, manual texting required slightly less time than the voice-to-text method, but driver performance was roughly the same with both," researchers said. "Drivers felt less safe when they were texting, but felt safer when using a voice-to-text application than when texting manually, even though driving performance suffered equally with both methods."
The U.S. Department of Transportation calls distracted driving a dangerous epidemic on America's roads. In 2010 alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes.
Edmunds says: Regardless of how you send a text from behind the wheel, it still takes your concentration off the road.