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Wearable devices may become the next issue in distracted driving

Over the last several years, leaps and bounds have been made in the development of mobile technology. Smartphones have become integrated into the lives of a large portion of California residents. Although this technology can simplify certain aspects of life, using mobile devices behind the wheel obviously creates a tremendous accident risk. As such, many states, including California, have passed texting-and-driving laws that forbid this technology while driving.

Emerging wearable technology, such as Google Glass, has created an entirely new set of concerns for motorists and lawmakers. The fear is that this kind of technology, though different from smartphones, could still create a major distraction for drivers.

Earlier this year, a woman in California was ticketed for driving while wearing a Google Glass device, but the charge was later dropped because there was no solid proof she was using it behind the wheel. Moreover, there's no specific state law to address this type of technology.

When a driver has his or her attention pulled away from the road, no matter the source of the distraction, anyone else on the road is put at risk. Even at low speeds on local roads, being distracted could lead to an accident. Namely, pedestrians face a significant risk in the shadow of distracted driving. In these scenarios, it's often the injured pedestrians that bear the brunt of the collision's effects.

A report from Reuters about wearable technology doesn't indicate that any specific legislation is on the table to ban wearable technology behind the wheel on California roads. However, the report does point out that Google is making a push to stop bans in other states where such bills are being discussed.

No matter what the future of distracted driving legislation in California looks like, it's ultimately the responsibility of drivers to dedicate their attention to what's going on in front of them. By following the rules of the road, drivers can help reduce the frequency of pedestrian and other motor vehicle accidents in our state.

Source: Reuters, "Exclusive: Google sets roadblocks to stop distracted driver legislation," Dan Levine, Feb. 25, 2014

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