The Apple Watch Edition, the latest buzz worthy product Apple, is just around the corner. Tech geeks will be sure to snap up this smartphone-on-the-wrist as soon as they are available.
Note that we just compared the smartwatch to a smartphone. It appears that smartwatches will have many of the same features as smartphones — and the same ability to cause distracted driving, if not more so.
A new study by the U.K. Transport Research Laboratory compared how smartwatches distract motorists, versus smartphones. Science has known for some time that calling, texting and using apps on your phone greatly reduces your ability to pay attention to the road and react to potential danger. Every year, many people in California get serious hurt, even killed, by drivers distracted by their phones.
It appears that smartwatches are even worse. The U.K. study concluded that being distracted by a smartphone delays a driver’s reaction to an emergency on the road by 2.52 seconds. To compare, phones delayed study participants’ reaction time by 1.85 seconds.
A second or two may not seem like much, but when the light changes or something similar occurs, that may be all the time you need to cause a serious auto accident.
Many states, including California, prohibit any handheld use of a cellphone behind the wheel, but the law has yet to catch up to smartwatches. This could be because they are not widespread yet, but sooner or later someone is going to be killed by a driver looking at his or her new device.