Smartwatches and distracted driving
With the Apple Watch set to be released soon, many people’s minds are on smartwatches. When it comes to any emerging technology, it can be important to think about the various impacts the technology could have in different areas of life, including potential negative impacts.
One area in which one could see smartwatches having the potential to have negative effects is traffic safety. One could easily imagine situations in which a driver who is wearing a smartwatch may be tempted to use the various functions of the watch while they are driving.
Thus, an important question regarding smartwatches is:
How distracting would using a smartwatch while driving be to a driver?
A recent study indicates that using a smartwatch while driving could be even more dangerously distracting than using a smartphone while driving. The study, done in the United Kingdom, found that reaction times to emergency situations were, on average, worse among drivers who were looking at a smartwatch to read a message than they were among drivers who were using a smartphone.
Given this study’s results and the general dangers associated with distracted driving, one hopes that all drivers who end up getting a smartwatch take care to avoid being distracted by their watch when driving.