Voice-to-text communication is a dangerous driving trend

April 23, 2013 12:00 AM

The problems associated with distracted driving have been well documented. Noisy passengers, loud music and communication devices all contribute to drivers taking their eyes off the road, and some new technologies have tried to combat the issue with new technologies, but there may be more negatives associated with these strategies than previously thought. 

One technique, called dictating while driving, consists of individuals using tools on their smartphone that translate voice notes into text messages. Although this may seem convenient, as drivers can keep their eyes on the road, there are several problems. InformationWeek reports that the study found drivers using voice-to-text systems took longer to compose messages, mostly due to errors that arose as part of the recognition software, and still caused drivers to lose focus. 

"You're still using your mind to try to think of what you're trying to say, and that by proxy causes some driving impairment and decreases your response time," Christine Yager, the study's author, told Reuters. "... Every day, new technologies come out, and it is important to educate the public that even these seemingly new distractions are still distractions, and it will help people be safer when they get into the vehicle." 

The best way to avoid unnecessary auto repair and accidents is to keep attention on the road at all times, avoiding the urge to text or talk with others. 

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