Are Apple Watches A Driving Hazard?
It’s true that in these modern times, there is more stuff than ever to distract us whilst driving (and no, we don’t mean rubbernecking out of the window at that gorgeous Lotus Esprit S1). Technology haunts us in all of life’s scenarios these days, and driving is certainly no different. Some of these tech advances are for the driver’s benefit: parking sensors, automatic window-wipers and keyless entry. Others, whilst admittedly handy, can be a little more controversial. The gadgets we rely on in everyday life inevitably follow us into our cars, whether we like it or not. We are all well aware of the particular danger of using a mobile phone at the wheel, and the potential penalties we might face if caught. However, technology giant Apple’s latest offering got us thinking – just how distracting is your Apple watch when driving? And is it riskier than your smart phone?
Temptation In Your Eye-Line
We’re under no illusion that the Apple watch is an awesome bit of kit. Everything your iPhone can do in a few easy swipes. We are quite enamoured with the idea of sending quirky tap patterns to our friends. It also keeps time within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard – handy! But this handiness may well be its downfall in terms of risk to drivers. The watch has been praised for its easy navigation and ability to complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Great for when you’re sitting in the office, but it’s a whole different story in a car. And to make matters worse, it’s on your wrist tempting you to fiddle with it. It’s all very well saying we won’t answer calls whilst driving – but when’s it’s right there on your wrist, staring at you, it’s got to be pretty hard to ignore. The watch’s omnipresent location means that texts, calls, meeting invitations or latest football scores are right in your eye-line when driving.
This has attracted the attention of The Department of Transport, who declared that the improper use of a smart watch will carry the same punishment as with a smart phone. That is, up to two years imprisonment if a fatal accident is caused, or three penalty points and a fine for being distracted by it. Deemed just as bad as twiddling with your sat-nav or in-car entertainment system, the Apple watch is the latest gadget to make us more likely to lose concentration.
Common Sense Prevails
It seems that there is a time and a place to enjoy your lovely new Apple watch, and maybe whilst driving it’s a good idea to remove it. Apple do provide an airplane mode, so not to distract you whilst driving, so it may be prudent to activate this when getting in your car. All of this has got us thinking, what’s going to be the next thing to try and steal our attention from the road. Windscreen film projectors? In-car shaving kits? Let’s just try and enjoy the ride.