When it comes to texting while driving we often hear talk of going handsfree. The general belief is that it is safer to go handsfree as opposed to hands-on, however a new study is showing that it is not entirely safe to be texting handsfree either. This study was done by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University and it compares voice-to-text and non-voice texting in a real-world driving environment.

This particular study looked at 43 licensed drivers between the ages of 16 and 60. Each participant in the study drove a total of four times, with each being for 10 minutes. The driving was done at 30 MPH and each driver did one round with no texting, one round with manual texting, one round with voice-to-text using an iPhone and one round using voice-to text with an Android smartphone.

The results of the testing showed driver response time being slower regardless of which method of texting they were doing. It was shown that drivers took roughly twice as long to react while texting as opposed to while they were not texting. The handsfree and manual texting test drives also revealed that drivers spent less time looking at the road.

Perhaps even more telling, this study shows that driver performance was just about the same regardless of which method of texting they were doing. Not that we want to encourage any sort of texting while driving, but the study showed that manual texting actually took slightly less time than voice-texting. Of course, as anyone that has used text-to-speech will likely realize, the reasoning there could be the sometimes jumbled messages that require fixing before they can be sent.

Image credit: mrJasonWeaver on Flickr

[via USA Today]

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