As we get busier, many of us use our vehicles as communication hubs. We might talk on the phone while driving or dictate lists to ourselves. Recent studies have indicated that texting while driving is extremely dangerous. Voice-to-text programs don’t help.
Voice-to-text programs still require you to have close access to your cell phone, and some states restrict all cellphone use while behind the wheel. As the technology expands, legal barriers to the process of texting in any form will likely increase. Phone usage behind the wheel leads to distracted driving, and distracted driving is causing a lot of accidents.
Danger of Distractions
While part of the danger of texting does include looking away from the roadway to check your phone, it’s not the whole problem. Cell phones require monitoring, which is a source of distraction. Even if the text you’re getting or receiving is critical to the people at your destination, you’re still safer pulling off the road and putting all your attention into the communication process so you can then put all your attention into the driving process. It’s estimated that thousands of accidents each year are caused by distracted driving. Texting and even voice-to-text software requires you to think and communicate in a linear fashion. It’s a function of logic. Driving can require you to make snap judgments quickly to respond to situations that have no logical basis. These quick responses help you avoid putting yourself and other drivers in danger. Shifting from linear thinking to being alert to any dangers coming at you takes time, and you may not be able to react fast enough to avoid a wreck.
Hands-Free Doesn’t Mean Safe
If you need to talk to someone who isn’t in the car with you and you’re behind the wheel, you may find yourself stopping the conversation as you deal with a traffic incident or potentially dangerous situation. This is the worst form of multitasking. While your visual and auditory focus should be on the road and other drivers, your brain is trying to understand the voice-to-text software or what someone just said to you on the phone. The process of holding onto a cellphone is awkward, but going hands-free doesn’t lessen the risk of an accident. If you must talk or text, pull over. For those who really can’t leave their phone in their purse or pocket, they should put it on the backseat of the car. It’s there if needed in an emergency but otherwise difficult to reach.
Driving is driving, and everything else can wait. Even on the dullest stretch of road, tires can blow and animals can run in front of your car. Your brain should be on high alert for risks when you’re driving, so put your phone away and arrive safely.
Here’s another article you might like: 4 Tips on Driving on the Highway on a Road Trip