Study: Voice-operated texting nearly as dangerous on the road

Drivers still look away from the road, have slower reaction times, study shows

By Paul Giorgio - Producer , Matt Austin - Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - An option on most new cell phones designed to make texting safer may actually be doing more harm than good.

Most will agree texting and driving is dangerous, but are we being led to believe texting using voice recognition software is a safe option?

One analysis disagrees.

A recent study by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute evaluated drivers as they were texting and driving on a closed course.

Some texted from a hand held device others used voice-activated texting.

It should come as no surprise that the drivers using a traditional keyboard while driving performed very poorly. They reported greater mental demand, took glances away and struggled to steer compared to baseline driving.

Those using the voice activated option drove slightly better. They didn't have a problem receiving the texts but sending them presented a higher mental effort. They also had a high frequency of glances away from the roadway and slower reaction times.

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