The sultry, sweet, sexy or even surreal sound of Siri might be lulling drivers into a false sense of security.

A new study from Texas A&M's transportation institute found text-to-voice technology no safer than texting manually while behind the wheel. The researchers instructed 43 participants to drive a closed course while using Siri and Vlingo, of the iPhone and Android varieties, while researchers measured the amount of time their eyes wavered from the road, along with response time to a light that would activate randomly during the tests.

The subjects also drove the course while texting manually, to compare. While driving a steady 30 miles per hour, the participants were required to complete the same five test-messaging tasks: send-only, read-only and three "read and replies."

For every minute of driving, participants spent an average of 37.3 seconds looking ahead at the road, aside from the time spent glancing at dashboard instruments and responding to the light part of the test. When texting manually, the average time spent with eyes on the road dropped to 27.2 seconds per minute. However, Siri barely helped improve the rate, with an average of 28.6 seconds with eyes on the road, compared to a lower-than-manual 25.8 seconds with Vlingo.

The study authors said "driver performance was roughly the same with both" technologies; that is to say, no improvement over manual texting.

Christine Yager, the lead investigator, said, "Understanding the distracted driving issue is an evolving process, and this study is but one step in that process."

The U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Agency recently released guidelines to manufacturers to improve distracted driving rates. The agency says more than 3,000 people in the United States died in 2010 from distracted driving, which includes texting while driving.

Below is a public service announcement from NHTSA: