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VNA of Care New England
VNA of Care New England

Hands-Free, Speech-to-Text Action Ups Distraction in Driving

Low level of distraction for in-vehicle activities; large distraction rating for speech-to-text e-mail
WEDNESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- In-vehicle activities such as listening to the radio are associated with a small level of distraction, whereas speech-to-text action correlates with relatively high levels of cognitive distraction while driving, according to a report published June 12 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
David L. Strayer, Ph.D., from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues conducted experiments designed to systematically measure cognitive distraction in the vehicle. Participants performed eight tasks without concurrent operation of a motor vehicle (control), and then repeated the tasks while operating a high-fidelity driving stimulator and while driving an instrumented vehicle in a residential section of a city.
The researchers observed a small increase in cognitive distraction associated with in-vehicle activities, such as listening to the radio or an audio book. A moderate increase in cognitive distraction was seen for conversation activities, including talking to a passenger and conversing with a friend on a hand-held or hands-free cellphone. Concurrent interaction with a speech-to-text interfaced e-mail system was associated with a large distraction rating.
"These new, speech-based technologies in the car can overload the driver's attention and impair their ability to drive safely," Strayer said in a statement. "An unintended consequence of trying to make driving safer -- by moving to speech-to-text, in vehicle systems -- may actually overload the driver and make them less safe."
More Information (https://www.aaafoundation.org/measuring-cognitive-distractions )
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