The Apple watch is the first smart watch to likely reach the mainstream and not just appeal to early adopters who love to try out all things new. According to Consumer Reports, the Apple Watch is expected to sell around 15 million units over the course of 2015 and consumers are expected to buy a total of around 28 million smart watches within this year.
The smart watches are intended to keep you in constant contact with your friends and family. They can vibrate on your wrist or otherwise alert you to the arrival of an email, a new Facebook post or an update on Twitter. The problem is, when you get this alert, it is going to take your focus away from the other things you may be doing — including driving your car. If you glance at the watch to see what the alert is advising, your eyes are going to be off the road and you are going to be at significant risk of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Distracted driving is already a big risk but the Apple watch and other smart watches are very accessible and have the potential to continuously provide you with alerts — which means that the risk of driving while distracted is likely to get bigger.
That being the case, a driver who looks at the watch or is otherwise distracted behind the wheel needs to be held accountable if his behavior causes a crash to occur and injures or kills others. A Janesville car accident lawyer can provide legal representation after a collision occurs due to a driver who is paying attention to his watch and not the road.
Distracted Driving Likely to Increase
Although the majority of motorists acknowledge the dangers of looking at a cell phone, people still glance at their phone and even send and receive emails and text messages while operating a vehicle. Motorists do this either because looking at the phone is a habit or because they don’t believe that the warnings about distracted driving really apply in their particular situation.
The Apple watch is going to be worn right on the wrist, so it will be even more accessible than a phone and will be even more obtrusive in terms of getting a motorist’s attention when he or she should be focused on other vehicles and obstacles on the road.
Not only is the watch likely to be constantly tempting motorists to look, but the laws addressing distracted driving have not yet caught up to the new smart watch technology to establish permissible guidelines. Even when guidelines are in place, it is going to be hard to enforce them because it may be difficult for police and prosecutors to show that you were looking at an alert on your watch when you simply glance at your wrist as you drive.
Being a safe driver means you need to have both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel. When your smart watch is on your wrist, police are going to have a hard time telling if you are checking your watch or just looking at the time. People may also believe that a quick glance at the watch is safe since they aren’t taking out their phone, even though it is the cognitive distraction of splitting your attention that can make distracted driving so dangerous.
Tragically, more smart watches will likely mean more accidents until the law catches up to regulate smart watches while driving — at least until police find a way to enforce the rules and motorists make a choice not to get distracted and increase collision risks. Those who are hurt by these accidents need to talk to a car accident lawyer in Janesville for help understanding their legal rights. Contact our office to discuss your case.