- A San Antonio research team concludes that texting while driving using Google Glass is just as dangerous as using a smartphone.
- Volunteers used a driving simulation to text on a phone and on Google Glass to see if there was a safety difference.
- Researchers concluded that Google Glass was a bit safer, but its ease-of-use resulted in continued use, and thus a similar level of danger.
In news that should be surprising to pretty much no one, a research team concluded that using Google Glass to send text messages while driving is almost as dangerous as doing the same with a smartphone.
The study was conducted by Murtuza Jadliwala, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Jadliwala’s crack team of researchers recruited about 20 volunteers to text while driving; don’t worry, they were using a driving simulator. The volunteers texted during the simulation on a smartphone and then with Google Glass. The simulation logged the deviations of the steering wheel and whether the subjects stayed in their lane.
“We found that the Google Glass distracts the driver slightly less,” Jadliwala said. “But that also gave the participants a false sense of safety.”
Since Google Glass responds quicker than a smartphone and can be used mostly hands-free, the subjects found it easier to text and still stay engaged at the wheel. However, because of its ease-of-use, subjects spent more time texting and thus were more apt to have driving difficulties.
It’s interesting that the research team chose to test this theory on Google Glass, considering Google discontinued the product in 2015. However, there are products in the pipeline like Google Glass that could one day make it to market, so the research isn’t entirely for naught.
According to the published report in Science Daily, more than a quarter of car accidents reported each year are attributed to driver distraction. Often, the distraction is caused by smartphone use, whether for texting or other purposes. It’s estimated that nine people die every day due to distracted driving and 330,000 injuries occur due to texting while driving. Distracted driving is also the most common cause of death for American teens.
You can read the full report here. Don’t text and drive, folks. It can wait!