Voice-activated texting may seem to solve the problem of cell phone-related distracted driving. In reality, hands-free texting still pulls a driver’s attention away from the road and can increase the risk of a motor vehicle accident.
A 2013 study from Texas A&M University’s Texas Transportation Institute found that drivers took nearly twice as long to react when they were texting, regardless of whether they used voice-activated software. The study also found that the drivers made less eye contact with the road when texting in either form.
Even though the drivers reported feeling safer when they used voice-activated software to text, the study found it made no difference.
New Research Supports the Dangers of Hands-Free Texting
The findings of the 2013 study are not unique. Many researchers have come to a similar conclusion.
A recent study published in January found that “while participants perceived an increased level of safety while using the hands-free interface, response times and drift did not significantly differ from those manually texting.”
The National Safety Council’s Stance on Phone Calls and Driving
The National Safety Council argues that hands-free cell phone conversations are also distracting. A driver’s field of view narrows while talking on the phone, causing them to miss up to 50% of what is around them.
The mind can only process one task at a time. That is why it is difficult to talk on the phone and read a book. It is similarly difficult to talk on the phone while focusing on driving safely.
Legal Recourse for Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving can take many forms – from using a cellphone, to changing the music, to dealing with backseat passengers – and sometimes people are injured by drivers who are not paying as much attention as they should be.
If a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian is injured by a distracted driver who was driving without due care for safety, the injured person may be able to obtain compensation for his or her injuries, medical expenses and lost wages through a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, contact our personal injury lawyers at 303-237-7373 to discuss your legal options. The Frickey Law Firm serves Lakewood, Denver, Boulder, and nearby areas of Colorado.