When it comes to texting or using tech behind the wheel, hands-free doesn’t mean safer. This is the conclusion drawn from a recent study from the University of Central Florida comparing the use of Google Glass to the use of a smartphone while driving. Experienced Dallas car accident attorneys still strongly recommend putting the tech away whenever you are in charge of driving a vehicle.
University researchers used a driving simulator to test drivers on their ability to react when a car ahead of them slammed on its brakes. First, researchers had the drivers perform the simulation without multitasking on any kind of tech device. Then, they gave drivers either Google Glass, their own smartphones or an unfamiliar smartphone, and they repeated the simulation as the drivers tried to send messages on each device.
Drivers who were trying to text while driving did equally badly, whether they used their own smartphone, a smartphone that was new to them or Google Glass. All three groups needed more time to identify the brake lights in front of them and to react, forcing many of them to hit their brakes hard or even to swerve to avoid a crash. Based on these observations, researchers concluded that Google Glass doesn’t make it safer to text while driving – even if the device can be used hands-free.
However, researchers did notice a difference in how drivers responded after each incident. Glass users were able to get the vehicle under control again more quickly than smartphone users. The research team hopes to conduct further studies to explain why this happens and perhaps to find ways to improve the safety of in-vehicle technology.