After my mom bought her first iPhone, I was explaining Siri to her. And her first statement was, “Great! Now I can text in the car.”
And my response was to almost scream at her, especially since she drives a lot with my kids.
New research is backing up my belief that voice-activated texting while driving is not much safer than “old fashioned” texting. An article on texting while driving in the Jan. 21st issue of the Atlantic discusses one of those studies, which concludes that while using a voice activated system is a little safer than texting by hand (especially when receiving messages), it is still significantly more dangerous than driving without the distraction.
But what I really like about the article is not the statistics, but this point a doctor makes with her patients:
How would you feel if the surgeon removing your appendix talked on the phone — hands free, of course — while operating?
This statement captures the essence of the problem — you can’t concentrate fully on the road when you’re concentrating on incoming or outgoing texts.
Sadly, it’s hard to convince people of these risks. A significant number of our clients are hurt because other drivers were trying to text and drive at the same time.