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Text-speak Messages Increase Risk of Accidents

by Sheela Philomena on August 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM
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 Text-speak Messages Increase Risk of Accidents

Messages with text-speak up risk of crashing, states study.

The study by Canterbury University PhD student James Head found that reading a text message with text-speak required more focus than correctly spelled words, placing the driver in a state of "inattentional blindness" and increasing the chance of missing critical signals.

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Text-speak refers to words that have been abbreviated, such as "ttyl" (talk to you later) and includes leaving out vowels.

In the study, 40 participants were made to read a correctly spelled story and a story in text-speak while wearing a vibration belt around their waist. They were asked to identify, as quickly as possible, which side of their body the vibration occurred.
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The study found that slower reaction times and fewer correct vibration detections occurred while reading text-speak than while reading a correctly spelled story.

On average, the reaction time of participants was 11 milliseconds slower when reading text-speak.

The researchers felt that text-speak appeared to induce a "greater mental workload" as the recognition was not as "automatic".

The study also noted that if the reader was less familiar with text-speak, additional workload could be needed.

"Although our study does not include assessments of driving performance . . . it nevertheless has implications for any tasks combined with reading text-speak," it said.

Source: ANI
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