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Are smartwatches safer than phones while driving?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Cell phones allowed you to make and answer calls without stopping your car. That resulted in phones becoming one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes, so most states passed laws against it.

Manufacturers then built handsfree sets into their vehicles to allow you to talk without needing to hold your phone. All you needed was to shout “Call Alice” out loud, and within seconds she would be on the other end of the line.

Then came smartwatches. Instead of shouting at your car system, you could swipe your hand over your watch or press a button to make, accept or reject a call. The problem is, it was a step backward in terms of safety because you once again needed to use your hands. A recent study found that smartwatches were even more dangerous for drivers than phones or voice-activated systems.

Smartwatches distract you in several ways

Making a call via any means while driving causes cognitive distraction. Rather than thinking about the road, your brain focuses on the person on the other end of the line and what you are discussing.

Drivers who handhold their phone typically type with their thumb, leaving one hand free to grip the wheel. That is bad enough, but to use a smartwatch requires two hands. You need to rotate the wrist with the watch on so you can see the screen, then take your other hand off the wheel to press a button or make a gesture. 

Anyone making a call via any means while driving is more likely to crash. Discovering the cause of a crash will be crucial to claim compensation for your injuries. If you notice a driver you were in a collision with is wearing a smartwatch, they may have hit you because they were using it while driving. 

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