"I took the train because they said no using Google Glass while driving."

I took the train because they said no using Google Glass while driving. (Photo credit: Noah Zerkin)

There’s a long list of things you shouldn’t do while driving, and in many jurisdictions, these are spelled out by the law. These include driving under the influence of alcohol, calling on a mobile phone, and also texting. The key point here is that distracted driving is dangerous, and whatever is keeping you from concentrating is dangerous, too.

In West Virginia, lawmakers are seeking to ban the use of Google Glass while driving. The proposed law does not necessarily single out Google’s device, though, as it seeks to ban “using a wearable computer with head mounted display,” in general. But it seems the rising popularity of Google Glass has prompted this move, says Cnet wrier Chris Matyszczyk.

Congressman Gary G. Howell wrote Matyszczyk that the bill was intended to target mostly young users, who are likely to be early adopters of technology, and who are also likely to be inexperienced drivers. “It is mostly the young that are the tech-savvy that try new things. They are also our most vulnerable and underskilled drivers. We heard of many crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest drivers. I see the Google Glass as an extension.”

The ambivalence toward Google Glass is not new. Recently, we featured a few pieces citing arguments against Google Glass. For instance, shop owners have started banning Google Glass on their private premises, due to privacy concerns. A London-based advocacy “Stop the Cyborgs” is also urging people to think twice before using Google Glass. After all, it’s the unmonitored and clandestine recording capabilities that are potential privacy risks, whether in public or in a private setting.

But the ban on using Glass while driving might have its merits. Distracted driving accounts for more than 3,000 deaths per year in the U.S., and about 400,000 injuries. Studies have argued that using handsfree headsets might not be too helpful in reducing the risk. After all, it’s not just the use of hands that is risky, but rather being distracted in itself.

There’s no knowing whether someone driving with Google Glass is texting, watching a video or simply using Glass to help navigate or check traffic. It may not be enough to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Your focus should also be on the road.

Of course, we may argue that Google is developing self-driving cars after all, and we might not have to give 100% concentration and driver input. But we’re still a long way to go from self-driving cars being mainstream.

Are you for, or against, the ban on Google Glass while driving?

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.
  • Which country are they talking about? Law makers or draw makers? Or maybe some jokers are talking about banning Google Glass! I’m sure these law makers have link with Apple! The glass is not released yet, they already preparing to ban Google Glass, awesome!


    • No One

      What joke about protecting life of yourself and innocent ppl on the street? I find no reason for any kind of this product not getting banned. Distract whilst driving is dangerous, simple as that.

      Think outside the box and in reality not everything is about Apple or Google…

      • If you want to protect individuals privacy, then shut down internet. Everyone will be safe! It has nothing to do with Google Glass. Its not released yet and there are billions of hidden camera everywhere around the world, from pen to watch spy cameras that endangers others life, not Google Glass!

  • its a little hypocritical to make it legal to use handsfree devices while driving, but not a handsfree headset computer that puts the image in your peripheral vision.

  • Says the iphoneauthority… When’s the last time anyone here said anything good about Android??

  • wm snyder

    this is total bull that’s right total bull! if it obstruct driving it obstructs it intended purpose of walking on sidewalks or going in to stores or daily use! they just don’t want you recording them, or catching them doing something wrong! never have liked west virgina and never will it’s there……….It’s not even out yet so you don’t even know the product

  • Pack leader

    When will people learn & realize that it’s not the object or tool that is distracting. But the lack of ability of that person to use whatever tool correctly! The radio distracts, changing manual gears distracts, the passengers distracts, hot coffee, etc… When will we start being responsible for our actions. Instead of letting government dictate everything we should or should not do!

    • irondad

      I believe hot sexy girl in the same car will give the most distraction.
      government should ban sexy passenger..

  • philnolan3d

    It’s funny that they’d rather have you look away from the road than look at it.

  • Duke2010

    hmm although I can see the benefit of Glass while driving (sat nav) I can also see it wont take long for some idiot to be reading on it and run someone down! Solution? Glass should lock into sat nav mode while driving so the driver cant mess about with it. Similar thing they do in cars with built in tv.

  • Omegaclawe

    I gotta be for it. There’s no way to tell if it’s just being used as a navigation HUD, or as a distraction. The use of Google Glass while driving, whether we like it or not, will cause accidents, and it will be highly publicized. It would be irresponsible not to ban its use while driving when other similarly distracting devices are also banned.

  • lean6

    It was only a matter of time before law enforcement threw their hat in this ring. Law enforcement exists to generate revenue, first and foremost…you’re only kidding yourself if you think otherwise. Also, you can’t even collect too much rain water in your own backyard without having to pay somebody. Google Glass threatens a lot of people’s revenues…the safety and privacy crap is the convenient rhetoric. For example, I bet the cops would have no problem adapting a pair, outfitting them radar or even more enhanced surveillance capabilities. But, carry on…they like it when you’re on their side restricting your freedoms.