Report: Hands-Free Texting Just As Dangerous
Written by Andrew Forgotch
Last updated on April 25, 2013 @ 7:19PM
Created on April 25, 2013 @ 5:46PM
 
Joe Powell, a Senior at West Virginia University, had no problem admitting to 5 News he sends the occasional text while he's driving.
 
"If it's something very short like, 'hey, what's up' ill just send a text," Powell said.
 
Powell said he feels he sends texts the safe way because he uses a voice-to-text application to send those messages.
 
"I press one button and I just start speaking," Powell said as he demonstrated how the app works.
 
A new study, published by the Texas Transportation Institute, claims that it's no safer to send texts using a voice-to-text app while driving than it is to send texts manually.
 
"I feel like (people my age) their parents tell them its safer," WVU freshman, Antoinette Yelenic said about the voice-to-text apps.
 
Researchers studied 40 drivers and found both methods took their attention off the road. They also discovered that the voice-to-text apps, like Siri on the iPhone, actually required more attention.
 
"Whenever I use Siri I say something and she gets the wrong thing," WVU senior, Marshall Kessler said. "Then I have to look back down at the phone and correct it (the message)."
 
Despite the results of the study, police told 5 News this study shouldn't be used as an excuse to get on your phone behind the wheel.
 
"Pull off the road at a safe location and answers your messages if it's that urgent," Star City Police Chief Vic Propst said.

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