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Wearable devices may not make texting and driving safer

Under New York state law, it is illegal to use a handheld device to text or make phone calls. Drivers can get around this law by using hands-free devices to chat while their vehicle is moving. However, a study from researchers at The University of Texas found that using a wearable may not be any safer than using a traditional smartphone while driving.

A group of 20 participants were asked to complete a driving simulation while using either a smartphone or a Google Glass to answer and send texts. Ultimately, researchers found that the participants were able to respond more quickly to road hazards when using the Google Glass versus the smartphone. Further, they appeared to be less distracted when using the wearable. However, researchers also found that the level of interaction increased when using the wearable versus the smartphone.

Although the group of participants was small, the results indicate that there may be no real safe way to text and drive. The use of any device, even if it is a wearable or hands-free, will cause some level of distraction for the driver. If a driver needs to text or get in touch with someone, it is recommended that he or she pulls over and checks for texts when the vehicle is in park.

Car accidents can occur the moment a driver takes his or her eyes off the road to read a text or fiddle with the radio. If a person becomes injured in an accident with a distracted driver, he or she may be entitled to seek compensation for any damages that were sustained as a direct result of the accident. A personal injury attorney may provide proof that the driver was texting or talking on a phone when the crash occurred.

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