For those drivers that think they have found a safe way to approach driving while texting, they might want to think again. Instead of manually text messaging on a phone, drivers might use a feature that allows them to speak the words, which will translate to text in the message.
While this might seem like a safer practice, a recent study proved otherwise.
The study was conducted by a transportation institute at a school outside of Maryland state lines. Researchers compared traditional texting while driving to using the voice-to-text feature on their phones. While the methods were different, the results were the same: texting drivers took twice as long to react than drivers who were paying attention to the road.
Both forms of texting caused the driver to take their eyes off the road for a prolonged period of time, making both of them dangerous and negligent habits.
The method in which researchers drew these conclusions included 43 participants who drove a vehicle on a test track. They drove the stretch of test road without any electric distractions, and also drove it while manually texting and using the voice-to-text feature.
Texting while driving has certainly become an issue that has worked its way to the forefront of traffic safety. In fact, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association claims that 35 percent of drivers admitted to either reading a text message or email while driving a vehicle. Another 26 percent said that they typed and sent a similar message also while driving.
A driver that injures a fellow motorist or pedestrian because they were texting could be deemed negligent. Even if they manage to skirt criminal charges, the injured party can file a civil complaint against the driver in attempts to recover money for their medical bills or general pain and suffering.