Drivers While Voice Texting Are Still Distracted




This is Scientific American's 60-Second Tech. I'm Larry Greenemeier. Got a minute?
You don't need to be in a car crash or to see the horrifying safety statistics to know that you should never text while driving.
A driver simply cannot look at both a smartphone screen and the road at the same time.
Taking your eyes off the road for even five seconds at 55 miles per hour is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
But could a head-mounted, voice-controlled display like Google Glass solve the distracted-driving problem?
In a word, "No," according to a recent University of Central Florida study.
Researchers found that drivers in a simulator reacted slowly to sudden traffic emergencies regardless of whether they were thumbing texts into their smartphones or dictating them to Google Glass.
Glass-wearing drivers did recover more quickly from near accidents than hand-texters.
Could be because they weren't fishing around on the floor for their dropped smartphone.
The real problem is driver multitasking.
Texting is especially problematic because it involves simultaneous manual, visual and cognitive distraction.
Glass doesn't completely eliminate the problem because simply looking at the road doesn't necessarily mean you're paying attention to it.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American's 60-Second Tech. I'm Larry Greenemeier.