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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Voice-To-Text Methods Are Equally As Dangerous As Manually Texting While Driving

Despite being marketed as a safer alternative, new studies are proving that voice-to-text methods are equally as dangerous as manually texting while driving. It has been maintained that hands-free devices are safer because they allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. This is untrue.

A distraction is considered anything that takes a driver away from the task of safely operating a vehicle. There are three types of distractions a driver can encounter while on the road: visual, manual, and cognitive; anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off the task at hand.

Voice-to-text produces a byproduct referred to as "tunnel vision" or "inattention blindness." It's as if the driver only looks straight ahead, or the driver goes through the motions of scanning the roadway, but does not actually see what they're looking at. "Police accident investigative reports are filled with comments like the driver ‘looked, but did not see.' That's what drivers tell them. We used to think they were lying, but now we know that's actually true," said Peter Kissinger, CEO and president of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

In AAA's study, brain waves and reaction times of drivers on roads and simulators were measured to compare levels of distraction. Listening to the radio registers as a minimal distraction, between 1.3 and 1.7 on a five-point scale. Using a cellphone or talking to a passenger registered as 2.3 to 2.5. Voice-to-text devices, such as a smart phone or GPS system, registered as a high distraction level of 3.1. Delay in reaction time while driving went from 15% while using a cell phone to 25% while using voice-to-text devices. It is estimated that by 2014, all new vehicles will come equipped with voice command capabilities.

Contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a distracted driver.

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