Study: Wearable tech is a distracted driving hazard

A new study discovered that wearable technology can be just as distracting to drivers as regular cellphones.

Advancements in technology evolve at a rapid pace, and many of them are distracting to drivers in West Virginia when they get behind the wheel. A recent study from the University of Texas at San Antonio studied the effect of wearable technology and how it affected driver concentration.

Overall, this study discovered that when drivers text using a wearable device, this activity is just as dangerous as trying to text using a regular cellphone.

How the study was conducted

To come to this conclusion, the researchers used Google Glass, which allows users to use voice transcription technology and head commands to send text messages. Even though Google Glass is not available for purchase right now, equivalent products are being produced by other brands.

During the study, researchers had 20 people use a driving simulator and had them use Google Glass to text and then a cellphone to text to determine if a safety difference was present. While the drivers texted on a phone or with Google Glass, the simulator determined if the subjects were able to stay within their lane and if there were any steering wheel deviations.

While the drivers using Google Glass were able to respond faster to text messages using voice activation, they were more likely to continue to use the device after responding to a text, creating an ongoing safety hazard.

Distracted driving defined

Those who use wearable technology, like Google Glass, may view using their devices as they drive less harmful than a cellphone because they do not have to manually pick up the tech. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a driver's full attention away from the road, so using wearable technology can be just as dangerous as using a cellphone behind the wheel.

Distracted driving in any form also injures and kills and injures many people on the roads in West Virginia and throughout the U.S. every day. The CDC states that on a daily basis, about nine people are killed and over 1,000 people are injured in car accidents where distracted driving was a contributing factor.

Contact an attorney

Those injured in a car accident in West Virginia, whether it was caused by distraction or another hazard, may experience significant mental, emotional and financial harm. In this situation, car accident victims should reach out to an attorney in their area for assistance asserting their legal rights.