Voice texting while driving is not any safer than hands-on texting while driving

In an attempt to make texting while driving safer, cellphone makers have started promoting the voice to text feature. It is still a distraction and not any safer than manual texting while driving.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates hands-free cellphones in manual texting mode increase the risk of a crash six-fold. If they are in voice to texting mode, the risk is fourfold. There is no safety benefit in switching from manual texting to voice-activated texting.

In fact, it is deceiving to the driver to think that voice to text is safer, allowing them to talk even more while they are driving, and not paying attention to what is going on around them. They are cognitively distracted no matter what mode their cellphone is in.

In addition, another Canadian study has discovered cellphone usage while driving affects visual concentration, reaction-time, slows the brain in processing information, encourages more braking in panic, decreases the distance between vehicles and reduces the driver’s field of view.

Anyone in the path of a cellphone user behind the wheel of a car is at great risk, about the same level of risk as driving while impaired. Over 5 billion texts are sent by Americans every day and nearly 20 percent of texters admit they text and drive.