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Drivers' text life 'not improved by voices'

Drivers' text life 'not improved by voices' Image

New research suggests that when it comes to drivers texting, new voice-to-SMS methods are just as dangerous as traditional manual means.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) study found that voice-to-text drivers enjoyed no safety advantages.

Researchers tested the performance of 43 drivers on a course in the first study of its kind, initially without use of any mobile phone device.

Each respondent then travelled the course three more times performing a series of texting tasks - once using each of two voice-to-text applications (SiriŽ for the iPhone and VlingoŽ for Android), and once texting manually.

A breakdown of the study shows:

- driver response times were substantially delayed, regardless of which texting method was used - with drivers taking almost twice as long to react as they did when they weren't texting

- the amount of time that motorists spent looking at the road ahead was a lot less when they were texting, regardless of texting method

- manual texting needed slightly less time than the voice-to-text method for most exercises, but driver performance was about the same with both

- motorists felt less safe when texting but safer when using a voice-to-text application than when texting manually.

published: 25/04/2013 14:00:00

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