Should Google Glass Be Banned Behind the Wheel?


The pioneering device Google Glass is raising concerns about its possible use by drivers. Lawmakers in some states, including Illinois, Delaware, and New Jersey, are worried enough about its potential to distract drivers that they are considering prohibiting Google Glass behind the wheel.

Google Glass & Distracted Driving in Atlanta, GA

Google Glass is a tiny computer fitted onto the frame of a pair of glasses. Using voice commands, users can take photos, search the Internet, and get GPS directions. The display is slightly off to the side of a user’s direct line of vision.

A California woman who was testing the Google Glass recently was ticketed by an officer who said she was driving while distracted. But the woman says the device was not on as she was driving and came on only when she looked up at the officer at her window. (Google Glass can be turned on with a nod of the head). The woman is challenging the ticket. Some think this case could lead to a ban on the use of the device by California drivers.

Distracted Driving is Serious: GA Car Accident Lawyers

It’s difficult to get an exact count of distraction-related crashes. After all, it’s often up to the drivers to admit to police that they were distracted at the time of an accident. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2012. An estimated 421,000 were injured.

Normally, when we talk about distracted driving, we are talking about technological distractions from phones and other devices. While these aren’t the only form of distraction, they do seem to be the most prominent. And as their popularity grows, so does the danger of using them behind the wheel.

Every single month, an estimated 171.3 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. And though teenagers may be most likely to text, adults are not immune from being distracted by their phones behind the wheel. Transportation researchers at Virginia Tech found that sending or receiving a text message while driving is similar to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Is Google Glass a Distraction? GA Car Wreck Lawyers

Google Glass may put a display off to one side of your view. It may come on only when you ask it to, and it may be showing you only GPS directions. But a moving picture in your line of sight is certainly a distraction when you are behind the wheel.

The idea that Glass is distracting is only affirmed when we learn that certain physical movements can control its functions. A head nod can turn it on for instance. Fortunately, the company disabled an original feature that would have taken photos when you blinked your eyes.

Anything that takes your mind and eyes off the road is a potentially dangerous distraction, and Glass is no exception.

Georgia Distracted Driving Laws: GA Car Accident Attorneys

Currently, the state of Georgia bans all text messaging behind the wheel. Teen drivers and school bus drivers are prohibited from using cellphones altogether. But our state’s laws are not the strictest in the nation. Other states ban the use of hand-held devices for all drivers. Even in these areas, Google Glass would not fall under the “hand-held” heading.

So, what’s Georgia to do? Though Google Glass may not become as popular as cellphones due to cost and other factors, it will probably become more widely available and less expensive. Georgia has the opportunity to pave the way by banning the use of wearable computing devices by drivers.

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