New Research Shows Hands-Free Voice Texting Just as Dangerous as Hand-Held Texting


Frazier Profile

Assemblyman Frazier put out an interesting press release today regarding a study that helps support his argument that Assembly Bil 313 should be put into law which would prevent hand-free voice texting.

The study is the first of its kind, as it is based on the performance of 43 research participants driving an actual vehicle on a closed course. Other research efforts have evaluated manual versus voice-activated tasks using devices installed in a vehicle, but the TTI analysis is the first to compare voice-to-text and manual texting on a handheld device in an actual driving environment.

According to the study, Siri (iPhone) and Vlingo (Android smartphones) were used for the tests.

Major findings from the study included:

  • Driver response times were significantly delayed no matter which texting method was used. In each case, drivers took about twice as long to react as they did when they weren’t texting. With slower reaction times, drivers are less able to take action in response to sudden roadway hazards, such as a swerving vehicle or a pedestrian in the street.
  • The amount of time that drivers spent looking at the roadway ahead was significantly less when they were texting, no matter which texting method was used.
  • For most tasks, manual texting required slightly less time than the voice-to-text method, but driver performance was roughly the same with both.
  • Drivers felt less safe when they were texting, but felt safer when using a voice-to-text application than when texting manually, even though driving performance suffered equally with both methods.

Here is the Press Release

New Research Shows Hands-Free Voice Texting Just as Dangerous as Hand-Held Texting

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 1stAB 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.

Join Assemblymember Jim Frazier for Saturday Morning Coffee

ANTIOCH, CA – Please join Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) on April 27th for morning coffee and conversation at Dad’s Café in Antioch from 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Assemblymember Frazier will address current legislative issues and respond to your questions, ideas, and concerns regarding state happenings. Coffee, juice, and breakfast pastries will be provided.

Visit the Assembly Member’s website at to RSVP NOW!
For more information, please call (707) 399-3011 or (925) 778-5790.

Saturday, April 27th

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Dad’s Cafe
3421 Deer Valley Road
Antioch, CA