USA Today reported Tuesday on a study by the Texas Transportation Institute. Drivers aged 16 to 60 were tested on a closed course. The results? Driver response times were slower no matter which method of texting was used.
How much slower? Twice as slow, even when using hands-free. Worse, no matter which method used, drivers took their eyes off the road. Slower reaction times plus not looking at the road is just a bad combination.
I have to say my own experiences have been similar. A couple of times I needed to let my husband know I was going to be late, and I tried to fire up Siri to send a quick text. It actually took longer to text him with Siri, and yes, my attention was more on my phone than if I had just created the text manually. I don’t text while driving often, but my conclusion was that I was safer waiting for a light and creating it manually.
Interestingly, according to the study, my impression was not the norm. Study participants actually felt safer using the hands-free method.
This latest study just confirms what we all know but often decide to ignore. Texting while driving is just a bad idea.