Excitement over Google Glass’s potential as a safer alternative to texting while driving is probably misplaced, say researchers at the University of Central Florida. A recent study reveals that drivers who use Google Glass behind the wheel aren’t any better at spotting and avoiding potential accidents than drivers who are texting on their smart phones.
Texting while driving is one of the top causes of the fatal accidents that every experienced Texas car accident lawyer has handled in his or her career. One University of Utah study found that drivers who were texting reacted to road hazards in very similar ways to drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent – the legal limit for drunk driving.
Researchers in the Google Glass study did not compare drivers’ behavior with Google Glass to the behavior of drunk drivers. Instead, they compared Glass users to texting smart phone users.
Researchers placed individuals in a driving simulator and gave each driver either a smart phone or a Google Glass headset. Drivers were asked to complete a texting task while “driving” in the simulator. As they worked, a simulated car slammed its brakes on ahead of them. The researchers observed the reactions of the distracted drivers and compared the results.
The study concluded that drivers reacted more slowly to hazards ahead of them in the road whether they were using Google Glass, their own smart phone, or an unfamiliar smart phone. However, drivers wearing Glass were able to recover more quickly. Researchers say more work is needed to examine why the Glass drivers recovered more quickly than the smart phone users.