New Research Shows Hands-free Voice Texting Just as Dangerous as Hand-held Texting

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Confirms Passage of AB 313 (Frazier) is critical to reducing accidents, injuries and fatalities

Sacramento, CA - Findings from a just-released study conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that voice-texting is no safer than hand-held texting, stating that no matter which texting method is used, driver response times are significantly delayed - which impairs their ability to recognize safety-critical events like a car slamming on its brakes, a red light, or a pedestrian.

A bill by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) to ban hands-free voice-texting passed the Assembly Transportation Committee last week and is set to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 1st. AB 313 is an effort to rescind legislation signed into law last year that specifically allows hands-free voice texting while driving as a way to mitigate the ban on hand-held texting while operating a vehicle.

“As this study shows, there is no difference in the crash risk of drivers using hand-held or voice operated devices because both contribute to the cognitive distraction that causes inattention blindness,” said Frazier.  “It is our obligation to public safety to reverse legislation that was based on good intentions, but is now proven to be dangerous.  AB 313 will help minimize distracted driving by banning all texting while driving. It’s just that simple.”

The study was sponsored by the Southwest Region University Transportation Center which is a federally-funded program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration.

To view the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s press release click here and to view the study, click here.

CONTACT: Amy Warshauer, Amanda.Warshauer@asm.ca.gov