Distracted driving can be a serious threat on the road. According to statistics, a distracted driver behind the vehicle can be real risky, thus enhancing chance of a motor vehicle crash manifold. A study says that in the United States, each day an approx. 9 people are killed and over 1,060 people are injured in car crashes because of irresponsibility of distracted drivers.
What is more intimidating is that as compared to other European countries, the United States reports maximum cases of texting, emailing or talking on a cell phone while driving. Around 69% of U.S. drivers belonging to the age group of 18-64 had admitted talking on their cell phones whereas 31% reported reading, sending text messages or email while driving.
As popularity keeps growing for Google Glass and other wearable devices, these figures might turn out even more frightening in near future. In fact, if you were blaming the Smartphone only for rising number of road accidents, now put some blame on Google Glass too! However, a recent study done by a team at the University of Central Florida has revealed some interesting facts.
While texting, using your Smartphone or Glass causes driving distraction and should be strictly avoided, the Glass is comparatively safer. If you are messaging while driving with the Glass on, you can recover faster in case some danger is encountered. The same can’t be said of Smartphone users.
The research was conducted on 40 participants, in the age group of 20+. They were asked to drive in a car simulator with either a Smartphone or Google Glass and were forced to encounter a situation which demanded instant brake action to a vehicle ahead.
Then researchers compared participants’ reactions on each device when they were multitasking and when they were just driving without any mobile/glass engagement. It was observed that Google Glass users were not actually better at hitting their brakes as compared to Smartphone. Still the former category returned to normal driving more quickly.
In general, talking, messaging or reading texts while driving are banned in the United States. However, rules and regulations vary depending on different States’ driving norms. Now that wearable tech has hit the road in a big way, a revision of existing traffic laws is very much needed.
The general opinion is that with regards to road traffic regulation, all distracting devices like mobile phones, Google Glass or any other wearable device should be potentially banned. However, one can’t overlook the fact that Google Glasses supports GPS navigation.
Recently a judge in California has issued a ruling that driving with the Glass is legal in the state, provided it is turned off or not in use. Other US states have varied approaches. Lawmakers in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, and West Virginia have tried to enforce a ban on the use of Google Glass while driving fearing that that these may increase number of road accidents.
Finally to conclude, further studies are needed to precisely come to conclusion about whether to blame mobile phones or wearable tech for rising road accidents. Simultaneously traffic laws need closer introspection too, with changing time and technology.