September 23rd, 2014
Earlier in September, Apple made an exciting announcement: The company has created the Apple Watch, or iWatch as it's being dubbed by many. The new wrist-accessorizing device is not only beautiful, but keeps your digital life within your reach at all times. You can send and receive messages, answer phone calls and use your apps all from your wrist.
Fans of Apple and technology in general will most likely line up for the new device, but they probably haven't put much thought yet into how it'll affect their driving.
Recently, the United Kingdom made headlines because the nation's Department of Transport said drivers found using the iWatch will face the same penalties as if they were caught using their cell phone while driving, Auto Blog reported. No authority in the U.S. has made a similar statement, but drivers should think on the possibilities of restrictions before investing in the product.
State cell phone laws vary. Some states have no limitations on a driver's mobile phone use and others ban the practice entirely - if you're caught with a phone in your hand while driving, you face a ticket and fine. Overall, the message in the U.S. is to stick with hands-free devices if you need to make a call while driving. Or even better, pull over to talk.
The purpose of the laws is to decrease driver distraction and improve roadway safety. Auto insurance companies have been known to increase your rates if you're ticketed for cell phone use. If you cause an accident while on your phone, you may have trouble getting your insurer to cover the costs.
Whether or not the iWatch will be considered a hands-free device in the U.S. is up in the air. The U.K. is taking the position that it's just as distracting and dangerous as a cell phone. Whatever the opinion or outcome, drivers with the iWatch should focus on the road and be careful not to let the device distract them.