Man driving with Smartwatch on wrist

Driving with a Smartwatch

While laws vary from state to state, it is illegal to hold a cell phone while driving in most parts of the U.S. In addition, it is also illegal to use smartwatches while driving.

If a person causes an accident while he or she is distracted by using his or her smartwatch, he or she may be arrested and charged with a crime if someone is injured as a result. While the person may then get help from a bail bondsman to get released on bond while his or her case is pending, it is best to avoid using smartwatches, smartphones and other distracting electronics while driving in order to avoid accidents to begin with. Technological advances involving smart technology have captured the imagination of the public, including smart lamps, smart homes, smartphones and smartwatches. While these developments are exciting and make life easier, people should never use electronic devices while they are driving because of the dangers to themselves and others from distracted driving accidents.

Why are Smartwatches Illegal?

People who live in states or municipalities where hand-held devices are not allowed while driving might not immediately understand why a smartwatch is considered to be a prohibited hand-held device. Although these devices may have notifications that appear onscreen without touching, the fact that it is wrapped around the wrist requires people to use their hands in order to check the notifications that they receive. If they do this while they drive, it takes their visual and cognitive attention away from the road where it should be focused. Even a short glance away from the road for a second to read a message can result in an accident.

Smartwatches More dangerous than Smartphones

Recently, a road safety group in the United Kingdom issued a report about how dangerous smartwatches might be for drivers to use while they drive. According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists, or IAM, smartwatches may actually be even more dangerous and distracting than smartphones for drivers. This is because using a smartwatch while driving requires the driver to use both of his or her hands to operate it. While the device is held on only one wrist, the driver must use the opposite hand to operate it, leaving the driver without any hands on the wheel.

The way in which a smartwatch alerts the wearer of messages is also highly distracting and not easy to ignore. It will beep, light up or vibrate directly from the wearer’s wrist, making it difficult to resist checking. By contrast, smartphones can be turned to silent and tucked away in a purse or glovebox so that drivers can ignore them while they drive.

Leave the Smartwatch at Home

Because of the potential dangers of using a smartwatch while driving, drivers might want to either leave their smartwatches behind or take them off and put the away while they drive. Checking a message may seem harmless, but the seconds it takes to read a message or to respond to one can result in a horrific motor vehicle collision, potentially injuring or killing both the distracted driver, any passengers and other motorists who are traveling on the road. If people choose to use their smartwatches while they drive and then cause injury accidents, they should expect that criminal cases might follow along with all of the potential penalties such cases can bring. They may also face lifetimes of disability and the unavoidable knowledge that their actions caused their injuries as well as those of other innocent motorists.

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