Voice-to-text might be just as distracting as traditional texting

April 23, 2013
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Just when we think it’s all figured out, life throws a wrench at us. We really thought the voice-to-text feature on our phones were a workaround for those “don’t text while driving laws”. Well, we just might be wrong… but let’s be honest, we probably knew we were.

A new study suggests that even voice input while driving is just as distracting as texting. When it comes to reaction time, those drivers using voice-to-text still took about twice as long to react versus drivers who weren’t distracted, which was the same slow reaction time as traditional texting. Even though your eyes can still be on the road, your mind is multitasking. We often like to read what we spoke before we send it, further distracting us.

The study went on to note that drivers ‘feel safer’ using voice input, but the data doesn’t lie. Distracted driving is just that, and no matter what is going on, that message can wait. “Every day, new technologies come out, and it is important to educate the public that even these seemingly new distractions are still distractions, and it will help people be safer when they get into the vehicle,” said Christine Yeager, who conducted the study. We couldn’t agree more.

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