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Does Google Glass Distract Drivers?

When Google Glass first became available, the device sparked both interest and controversy. The idea of a "wearable computer" made some commenters believe that Glass could be used safely by vehicle drivers, without causing a distraction that might lead to an accident. Others were less certain, however, that using Glass was any safer than texting or using a hands-free smartphone or other device.

To date, at least eight states have introduced bills that, if passed, would ban drivers from using Glass while they operate a vehicle. When many of these bills were introduced, they lacked research to back up the legislators' claims that Glass would cause a distraction the way texting or cell phone use would. Instead, lawmakers acted to prevent possible distraction, rather than to address known distractions.

New research, however, seems to back up lawmakers' claims. A recent study conducted at the University of Central Florida found that drivers who used Glass experienced the same distraction and reduced reaction time as drivers who were texting on smartphones. During the study, researchers placed drivers in a driving simulator and had them carry out various tasks on either Glass or a smartphone. While they did the task, the simulator showed a car in front of them slamming on its brakes, forcing them to react quickly.

Researchers found that both Glass and smartphone-using drivers were less likely to see the car ahead in time to slow down safely. However, they also found that drivers using Glass recovered from their emergency maneuvers more quickly. They say more research is needed to pinpoint the reason for this difference.

At Cullan & Cullan, LLC, our experienced Omaha, Nebraska personal injury lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you deserve after a distracted driving accident. Contact us today to learn more.

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