A new study released by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that using voice-to-text apps to send and receive text messages while driving do not increase driver safety. The study is the first to compare voice-to-text and manual texting on a handheld device on the road.
Researchers had drivers operate a vehicle in a closed course and asked them to use one of two mobile voice-to-text apps, Siri for iPhone and Vlingo for Android. They first asked the drivers to go through the course without any mobile phone use. Participants then drove the course three more times, once using each of the two voice-to-text applications, and once texting manually on a phone.
The goal of the study is not to discourage voice-to-text but to caution and educate drivers about the dangers of texting while driving. The study shows even formulating and dictating a message takes concentration away from the driving task at hand. If a texting driver is watching the road less often, then that driver is less prepared to take action when faced with something like a road hazard or a pedestrian.
The real issue may be that drivers seem to believe they are being more careful when they use the voice-to-text apps even though they appear to offer no real safety advantage over manual texting.
The new study is published in part to raise awareness during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
If you or someone you know have been injured in a car accident as a result of a texting driver, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.