“But voice messages are okay!”
Everyone, if they were honest, has said or thought it. But are voice messages really safe? Yes, voice messages don’t involve physically typing out a message but they, more often than not, involve some post-dictation editing. What about when the driver has sworn her/himself to not double-checking the message, allowing typos and all to be sent for the sake of not touching their phone? Well, a more sneaky form of distraction, unbeknownst to most, is still present. Even when texting does not involve physically typing a message, attention is taken away from the task of driving and placed onto another activity which is, by definition, distracted driving. This redirection of attention takes 27 seconds to recover from cognitively. So, a seemingly innocent text dictated into a phone at a stop light can keep a driver’s mind off the primary task of driving for half a mile, or 2,640 feet, when going 60 mph. And unfortunately, it is within these 27 seconds of distraction that car crashes often occur. This process is called latency, and like its name implies, refers to the “late” effects of distraction, or as AAA defines, “the amount of time it takes for the driver’s brain to fully re-engage with the act of driving.” Ultimately, then, it is clear that voice messages aren’t all that okay, since they take the driver’s mind off of driving and lead to prolonged distraction.