Wearing Google Glasses behind the wheel? It may seem peculiar to see someone wearing Google Glasses in general, but what about someone who wears the device while operating a motor vehicle? Our car accident lawyers in Raleigh review the potential effects Google Glasses may have on distracted driving and traffic laws:
First, what are Google Glasses? Simply, the web-connected device is worn like typical eyeglasses and allows the user to learn about everything they see by superimposing Internet-provided information above their field of vision. Whenever a user wants to read information, they just tilt their head up and the display activates. Users have the ability to search the web by using voice commands, see news, weather, and traffic-related updates, maps, take pictures and video, and read their emails and text messages. There is also a mic and speakers. The glasses will sell at a projected retail price of $1,500 each.
Although the item is not yet available for mainstream purchase and is expected to be released in late 2013, businesses and lawmakers are already responding to the pending product and its future affects on privacy and safety. Dining establishments have made headlines by issuing bans of Google Glasses since they have the ability of recording conversations and video without an individual's consent or knowledge. Related to distracted driving, West Virginia has recently proposed a bill that would make it illegal for drivers to wear Google Glasses, more specifically: While "using a wearable computer with head-mounted display." As technology develops at faster speeds, it may not be long before other devices become a threat to safe driving and it might become common to see laws go into effect with language that encompasses "all future similar devices that have not yet been created." (Like the proposed North Carolina bill that may affect digital estate planning.)
Many states, like North Carolina, have no-texting-while-driving laws. North Carolina drivers are not allowed to text or send emails from their phones while operating a motor vehicle. Many drivers use hands-free features, like Bluetooth headsets or smart dashboards, to make and answer phone calls while they drive without the need to remove their hands from the wheel. Lawmakers are concerned that reading a text with Google Glasses, although hands-free, will still be invasive to a driver's ability to focus on the road and other vehicles. Other states will likely responded with amended legislation to traffic laws, not only changing the regulations associated with driving, but also the consequences of breaking similar no-texting-while-driving laws. As of this writing North Carolina has not proposed changes to driving laws related to the new product, but check out our facebook page for more frequent updates.