Texting while driving: is speech-based text entry less risky than handheld text entry?

No Thumbnail Available
Issue Date
Embargo End Date
He, Jibo
Chaparro, Alex
Nguyen, Bobby T.
Burge, Rondell J.
Crandall, Joseph
Chaparro, Barbara S.
Ni, Rui
Cao, Shi

He, Jibo; Chaparro, Alex; Nguyen, Bobby T.; Burge, Rondell J.; Crandall, Joseph; Chaparro, Barbara S.; Ni, Rui; Cao, S. 2014. Texting while driving: is speech-based text entry less risky than handheld text entry?. Accident Analysis & Prevention, vol. 72:pp 287–295


Research indicates that using a cell phone to talk or text while maneuvering a vehicle impairs driving performance. However, few published studies directly compare the distracting effects of texting using a hands-free (i.e., speech-based interface) versus handheld cell phone, which is an important issue for legislation, automotive interface design and driving safety training. This study compared the effect of speech-based versus handheld text entries on simulated driving performance by asking participants to perform a car following task while controlling the duration of a secondary text-entry task. Results showed that both speech-based and handheld text entries impaired driving performance relative to the drive-only condition by causing more variation in speed and lane position. Handheld text entry also increased the brake response time and increased variation in headway distance. Text entry using a speech-based cell phone was less detrimental to driving performance than handheld text entry. Nevertheless, the speech-based text entry task still significantly impaired driving compared to the drive-only condition. These results suggest that speech-based text entry disrupts driving, but reduces the level of performance interference compared to text entry with a handheld device. In addition, the difference in the distraction effect caused by speech-based and handheld text entry is not simply due to the difference in task duration.

Table of Content
Click on the DOI link to access the article (may not be free).