You’re driving downtown when your phone lights up. You glance at it, but you know better than to text and drive. Instead, you ask your phone’s assistant to read you the message, and then you use voice dictation to respond. What you might not realize is that voice dictation may be no safer than texting with your hands.
Cognitive Distraction in Action
Voice dictation feels safer, right? After all, your eyes are on the road and your hands are on the wheel. All you’re doing is talking, just like you would if a passenger was in the car. But that’s exactly the false sense of security that makes this distraction so dangerous. You think it’s safer, so you’re more willing to indulge it.
These distractions, also called cognitive distractions, are the most dangerous because they cause you to lose focus on your surroundings, which can lead to a crash. When you text by voice dictation, you’re not just responding as you would to a conversation, you’re navigating phone menus in your head, you’re considering sentence structure, and you might even add punctuation.
It All Adds Up
Studies suggest that voice dictation is just as dangerous, if not slightly more dangerous, than texting with your hands. Research by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that regardless of how a driver was texting, their reaction times were typically double that of other drivers.
Drivers in these studies believed that texting by voice dictation was safer when it actually put them at equal risk as those manually texting. Next time you get a message while driving, remember that it can wait until you reach your destination. It seems like a small thing, but avoiding these distractions just might save you and those around you from a serious crash.
If you were injured by a distracted driver, we are here for you. To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Columbus car accident lawyer from Ross, Midian & Breitmayer, LLC, please don’t hesitate to call (614) 450-2223 or send us an email.