Consumers have had a lukewarm reception to wearable devices, and perhaps that’s a blessing in disguise.
According to new research from The Transport Research Laboratory in the UK, smartwatches significantly slow down reaction times while driving when compared to smartphones. What may come across as a more convenient messaging platform could actually increase the risk of an accident.
The TRL ran a series of tests to see how people reacted to emergency driving situations while reading messages on their smartphones and smartwatches. According to the Huffington Post, the research found the average reaction time with a smartwatch was 2.52 seconds, compared to 1.85 seconds with a phone and only 0.9 seconds when speaking to someone in the car.
This should come as no surprise. In October 2014, tests at the University of Central Florida showed that texting with Google Glass, a wearable of a different variety, was just as dangerous as texting with a smartphone. Research indicates any source of technology is a distraction while driving and is best left alone until the car is parked.
The Department of Transport in the UK is already being petitioned to ban smartwatches on the road in lieu of this new study. The country banned texting while driving in 2003. Similar legislation was proposed in the United States earlier this year, but federal laws have not been passed at this time.