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Why smartwatches are more dangerous than cell phones on the road

Jul 16, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you’re one of the millions of people who own a smartwatch, you know it gives you a lot of information and lets you communicate via phone, text and other methods. Unfortunately, some people use them while they’re driving, which can be more dangerous than talking on a cellphone.

That was the finding of one study in the United Kingdom (UK). The safety group that conducted the study noted that because a smartwatch has to be operated with the opposite hand, you’re essentially putting both hands out of commission when using a watch to check, send or receive messages – not to mention taking your eyes off the road.

Even if a driver is determined not to touch or look at their smartwatch while driving, the various notifications they receive on the watch are hard to ignore when they’re right there on your wrist. Drivers are more likely to put their phone away or turn it off than take off their watch while they’re driving.

What does Illinois law say?

While smartwatches aren’t mentioned specifically in the law, the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State notes that our state “prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones, texting or using other electronic communications while operating a motor vehicle.” Smartwatches are typically treated the way hand-held devices are, and therefore largely cannot legally be used while driving in many states.

If you or a loved one has been injured by another driver, it is worth finding out whether they were wearing a smartwatch at the time. Even if they show police that they weren’t on their phone, their watch may have been distracting them. Whatever the reason another driver caused your crash, you have the right to seek the maximum compensation you’re due for expenses and damages. 

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