Distracted driving continues to be an ever-increasing concern in Texas and other states across the nation. It is the cause of many automobile crashes, and thus, the basis for numerous injuries and deaths each year. Because of this, ways to reduce the major culprits of distracted driving have been enacted, such as bills that specifically address texting while driving. While these laws may prevent some accidents caused by texting while driving, it hasn’t stopped cellphones from remaining a major cause for distracted driving accidents.

While the focus has remained on physically texting and driving, a new study focused on a voice-to-text feature on phones used as an alternative to texting. This study was completed by the Texas Transportation Institute, and researchers discovered that this feature used while driving is just as dangerous as texting and driving.

The study found that both texting methods created a significant delay in a driver’s response time. The study involved 43 participants, and researchers found that it took roughly twice as long for a driver to react when compared to when they were not texting. It was also determined that eye contact on the roadway was reduce no matter which method was used.

An interesting finding was that response times for those using the voice-to-text feature were actually longer because they often caused the user to go back and correct spelling errors. Thus, a feature that is presumed to be safer by many motorist is in fact more risky when it comes to distracted driving.

A distracted driver is just as dangerous as a drunk driver, and a motorist never knows when they could encounter either. Victims of a car accident should be aware of their rights and options following the crash. By understanding the cause, this could help determine liability. Furthermore, this information could be used to hold a driver accountable for the losses and damages caused by the incident.