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Smart Watches and Distracted Driving

smart watch is a distraction to driversPeople love technology. One of the latest gadgets that people can be seen sporting isn’t seemingly attached to their ear, but to their wrist. Once Apple released their now wildly popular iWatch, technology lovers, particularly those fond of Apple’s line of products, raced to be the first to purchase one. The watches have become more popular as they have become more affordable, and it is common to see at least one person you know wearing one.

At first glance, the smartwatch seems like a hands-free device. Look again. You can hear notifications no matter where your wrist is located, but you can’t see the notifications unless you move your hand to within view. Attempting to look at or use the watch while driving typically takes one or both hand off the wheel, and always diverts attention from the task in front of you: driving.

A UK-based road safety group, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), is telling consumers and drivers alike that smartwatches are potentially more distracting than smartphones and other mobile devices. While those who do not wish to be distracted while they drive can tuck a mobile device into a pocket, bag or even cup holder, the watch is warn at all times. A vibrating or sounding alert or flashing light can be irresistible for some.

While most states do not currently have laws prohibiting the use of smartwatches while driving, they do have laws regarding distracted driving. These laws may not specifically mention smartwatches, but they do give law enforcement officers discretion in determining if a driver broke the law or caused an accident as the result of paying more attention to their watch than the road.

Drivers are urged to unstrap their watches or turn their notifications off while they are driving. Like any other reason that so many people give, checking a smartwatch isn’t worth the damage to person and property that can be caused. Only you know yourself well enough to know whether or not you can avoid the temptation of your smartwatch while you are driving. If you don’t believe you can, take it off and put it back on when you arrive at your destination.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Charlotte, call our office. A member of our team will help you set up an appointment for a no-cost case evaluation. We will advise you of your options and help you determine if filing suit for compensation is in your best interest.

Posted In: Car Accidents
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