Research/studies Transportation

Voice-to-text not safer than manual texting while driving: study

College Station, TX – Using voice-to-text technology is not safer than manually texting while driving, according to a new study (.pdf file) from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

Researchers evaluated the safety performance of 43 participants driving a vehicle on a controlled course – once without a cell phone, once each while using two types of voice-to-text technology and once while texting manually. Drivers were measured on how long it took to complete the course, as well as how long it took to respond to a light that came on randomly.

Compared to driving without a phone, texting drivers took about twice as long to react to the light and spent significantly less time looking at the road, with little difference in results for each texting method. Participants were compelled to check the accuracy of texts created by voice-to-text technology, which helps explain the similar results for looking away from the road, researchers noted. They called for more research on differences between using voice-to-text technology and manual texting while driving.