Smartwatches are a technological wonder. They enable users to use it as a phone, search the internet, send texts, upload an app that tracks sleep patterns, and other things. Unfortunately, they can be particularly distracting to people operating a vehicle. Recently, a British study found that smartwatches are more distracting than regular hand-held devices.
How are they more dangerous?
Simply put – it comes down to the logistics of a driver wearing a device on their wrist. While regular hand-held devices require one hand to initiate or operate, smartwatch users must use one hand to touch the wrist of the other. Of course, both instances involve the driver taking their eyes off the road.
Smartwatches are also belted to a wrist, which means the device is within easy view of the driver regardless of whether the arm with the device is resting, or adjusting the radio or steering the vehicle. Unlike a cell phone, which commonly stored out of sight in a pocket or a purse, a smartwatch is close to the driver’s line of sight, and illuminates whenever the driver receives a message, or call, or other notification.
Hands-free technology while driving
New Jersey law stipulates that fully licensed drivers must use hands-free technology when talking on their devices. Drivers under 21 or those with a learner’s permit may not use any cellular technology at all. Nevertheless, fully licensed drivers can still face distracted driving charges, particularly when they cause injury to other motorists, bike riders or pedestrians, even if they were using hands-free technology. They can also be liable for damage to property or injury of a victim.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a distracted driver, the law office of Goldstein, Ballen, O’Rourke & Wildstein, P.C. offers free consultations. We are ready to help you move forward and hold distracted drivers responsible for their actions. Call 973-473-1113 to schedule your appointment.