Study shows talk-to-text method is just as dangerous when drivin - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Study shows talk-to-text method is just as dangerous as traditional texting when driving


It's the first study of its kind comparing how dangerous it is to talk into your phone and send a text message versus the traditional way of texting by typing a message.

Researchers from the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University were the first to conduct the study and concluded that no matter how it's done, texting behind the wheel is distracting.

"I guess you just kind of get tired of driving so you feel like you need to do something to entertain yourself so texting is what a lot of people do," said Cody Stirling of Cedar Falls.

Stirling said he tries not to text while driving because it's distracting.

"Normally if something's important, somebody will call you," he said.

The study done at Texas A&M indicates that voice-activated text messaging actually takes longer than traditional texting because of errors in the transcription.

More than 40 drivers tested the theory for the study where researchers found both methods are equally distracting.

Meanwhile, Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson said a lot of things can cause drivers to be distracted.

"If people can keep their eyes on the road, that's certainly the most important thing they can do," he said.

Olson said research shows one text message forces a driver to take his or her eyes of the road for an average of 4.6 seconds.

In 15-minutes, KWWL caught three drivers texting behind the wheel near the intersection of Main Street and University Avenue in Cedar Falls.

Police urge all drivers to think before using their phone.

"If you have to send that text...wait until you get to your destination, pull to the side of the road if it's a safe place to pull over," he said.

"It can wait a minute or two," Olson added.

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