Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A recent study suggests that using voice-to-text apps while behind the wheel can be just as dangerous as manually texting while driving.
According to the study of 43 drivers on a closed course:
- Driver response times were significantly delayed no matter which texting method was used.
- In each case, drivers took about twice as long to react as they did when they weren’t texting. With slower reaction times, drivers are less able to take action in response to sudden roadway hazards, such as a swerving vehicle or a pedestrian in the street.
- The amount of time that drivers spent looking at the roadway ahead was significantly less when they were texting, no matter which texting method was used.
- For most tasks, manual texting required slightly less time than the voice-to-text method, but driver performance was roughly the same with both.
- 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.
Neither texting while driving nor talking on a cell phone while driving are permitted in New York State.
The voice-to-text study was conducted by the Texas A&M Transport Institute, which is part of a federally-funded program.
A complete report is available on the institute's website.