A new study performed by the Texas Transportation Institute reveals that ‘voice-to-text’ could be just as dangerous as ‘texting while driving’. The research proved that all 43 drivers included in the test have had slower reactions when trying to set their voice assistant to perform certain tasks for them, Engadget relates.
Researchers at the Texas Transportation Institute wanted to see whether the ‘voice-to-text’ command is more useful to drivers than the ‘texting while driving’ option. Results have shown that none of the two features are good because reactions will be just as slow in both cases. In fact, the recent findings revealed that drivers tend to be much more distracted when using the ‘voice-to-text’ option.
Until now it was believed that only traditional messages can slow down reactions and prevent drivers from stopping the car at the right moment. Christine Yager, the leader of the research proved that uttering voice commands is not safer than other features; on the contrary, drivers were just as dull because they lost the eye contact to the roadway for several seconds. The fact that drivers set their minds into formulating voice commands for their phones is another factor preventing them from paying attention to the events that take place in traffic.
43 drivers were monitored during a car free test track and all of them registered low results. The numbers were even smaller with the ‘voice-to-text’ command because the software usually requests users to correct their input and the process takes longer than the manual input. The marketing campaigns developed by smartphone manufacturers have instilled the belief that voice commands are safer than traditional messaging, thus, indirectly determining drivers to select the first feature. Yager hopes the recent study will open people’s eyes and will educate drivers to behave correctly on the road.
People, on the other hand, have been dissatisfied with the results of the new study. In their opinion, it is not just the ‘voice-to-text’ or the traditional messages that distract drivers, but the inability to prioritize actions when sitting behind the steering wheel.