Google Glass Distracts Drivers Just Like Smartphones

Google Glass Distracts Drivers Just Like Smartphones

A new study shows Google Glass is not safe when it comes to texting while driving. Moreover, the distraction it causes is the same as using regular smartphones.

“When you look at how fast people react to an unexpected traffic event – how fast they slam on their brakes, we didn’t find a statistically significant difference between Google Glass and smartphones,” according to researcher Ben Sawyer at the University of Central Florida.

Google Glass uses voice commands and head movements to read and reply to text messages. While it seems more efficient compared to texting with fingers on a smartphone, both devices still negatively affect overall driving performance.

The only slight upside of Google Glass users is they can recover faster after a near-collision compared to smartphone users. This suggests that there is an opportunity for Google Glass to make some adjustments to reduce or even possibly eliminate distraction issues for drivers.

The experiment was conducted on 40 students in their twenties. Using a car simulator, researchers equipped participants with either a Google Glass or smartphone to test how fast they will react when a car in front of them suddenly stop.

Distracted driving is a big problem on the road. According to estimates provided by National Safety Council, there are about 1.6 million car crashes each year caused the use of mobile phones while driving.

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Leo Blanco is a freelance writer based in Toronto, Canada.