Time will tell: Will Apple Watch increase road traffic accidents?

Published: 25/09/2014

There are growing concerns that Apple’s new smart watch could distract drivers and cause more road traffic accidents.

In an attempt to reduce this risk, the Government has confirmed use of a smart watch whilst driving will carry the same punishment as using a mobile phone behind the wheel – currently three points and a £100 fine. However how police will monitor and enforce these laws could pose difficulties.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is therefore urging drivers to turn off the device whilst behind the wheel:

“The latest piece of wearable technology from Apple will allow users to make and receive calls, check their messages and monitor their health by operating the device on their wrists.

“However this could significantly impair driving performance – being a major cause for distraction and road accidents.

“Constant alerts will require motorists’ regular attention. As opposed to using a legal hands-free piece of equipment the Apple Watch will require drivers to use two hands to operate the device – impacting speed, lane position and time spent looking at the road.”

According to IAM mobile phones have contributed to nearly 2000 serious accidents between 2006 and 2010, 110 of which sadly resulting in fatalities.

Content correct at time of publication

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