Distracted Driving Laws Yet to Catch Up With Apple Watch

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 12, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    While several states and countries have laws in place that make operating a handheld device such as a smartphone or portable media player illegal, the release of the Apple Watch has created a gray area in terms of distracted driving legislation. Given that the Apple Watch is technically not a handheld device, the laws in many jurisdictions are left open to interpretation at this point.

    Regardless of the laws in your local area, it is highly recommended that you keep your eyes on the road and remain focused on driving at all times. Using your Apple Watch while driving is dangerous for both you and the drivers sharing the road with you, no matter how skilled of a driver you may be, and distracted driving in general is still a punishable offense in many jurisdictions.

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    Article Link: Distracted Driving Laws Yet to Catch Up With Apple Watch
  2. ElRojito macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2012
    Saw this coming a mile away. The driver didn't, though.
  3. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    I'm sure it will be responsible for distraction and deaths just like phones.
  4. Komrad808 macrumors member


    May 23, 2010
    On an active volcano
    Soon there will be a bill that will ban all electronic use while driving. But we still can eat, drink (a beverage) and put on make up while driving.
  5. jblagden, May 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015

    jblagden macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2013
    I wouldn't say that the distracted driving laws need to be updated for  Watch. I would say that they haven't been updated for smartwatches in general.  Watch isn't the only smartwatch, it's only the coolest. It would be like saying that any a Blackberry isn't a smartphone because it isn't an iPhone. A Blackberry isn't preferable, or as good as an iPhone, but it is a smartphone nonetheless.
  6. Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    Is it just me, or has anyone else texted and drove for the length of that video and not almost died like 12 times? Lol...
  7. raj macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2003
    San Diego
    Not a new problem

    Come on, people! This isn't a new problem. Smart watches have been available for quite a few years now and Apple is only the latest version (and not necessarily the best). Driver distraction is driver distraction, regardless of the origin of the distraction. We don't need a specific law about every possible distraction. What about people who drive with a baby in a carrier in the back seat? Do we have a specific law about that distraction? What about male drivers with their wife or girlfriend wearing a short skirt in the passenger seat? Do we have a law about *that* distraction?
  8. Popeye206 macrumors 68040


    Sep 6, 2007
    Ahhh.... he'll get better at it with the smart watch over time. Just needs some practice. :eek:

    Really.... they're all bad, but this seemed like a very limited test.
  9. matty.p macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    Portland, OR
    That's not a completely accurate headline, at least here in Oregon and other states w/ similar laws we have a distracted driver law that includes: "Oregon law bans the use of a “mobile communication device” while driving. This device is defined as a text messaging device or a wireless, two-way communication device designed to receive and transmit voice or text communication."

    I can't imagine any judge arguing that an Apple Watch doesn't fit into this category.
  10. Popeye206 macrumors 68040


    Sep 6, 2007
    I tend to look at it like this... :eek::eek::eek:
  11. iTom17 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2013
    Eindhoven, the Netherlands
    Using a smartwatch while driving is considered the same as using a smartphone here in the Netherlands. In fact, a more specific law says the following about how phones are forbidden to use while driving:

    holding it in your hand, keeping it clamped between ear and shoulder, cell phone on the wrist, cell phone between headscarf, etc.

    Plain as simple actually. I would turn on Do Not Disturb while driving. But I wouldn't take it off. :p
  12. imicca macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2013
    Yerevan, London
    Mentioned USA and Canada only. Great job guys. Nothing about EU/UK/China? Macrumors step up international audience interest.
  13. Derekuda macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2004
    Get READY!!! Soon it will be illegal to use/wear your smartwatch while driving
  14. joshuaclinton macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2014
    I was waiting for him to start playing with the radio buttons while driving, but I guess that's okay?
  15. DudeDad macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2009
  16. tennisproha macrumors 65816

    Jun 24, 2011
    Yeah I agree with this wholeheartedly. Its becoming more and more of an issue.
  17. rcread macrumors member


    Jan 10, 2006
    Kenmore, WA
    I've observed that no one actually follows any of these laws. They are just discreet about the behavior. With a bluetooth headset, I can have Siri text, read emails or give me directions all day long without danger of being pulled over.
  18. Swordylove macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2012
    It is sad that the world needs such overly specific laws to prevent distracted driving. Just make 'distracted driving' illegal in general and leave the specifics to common sense.
  19. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

    Staff Member

    May 12, 2012
    You're right, this is useful information that I've updated the article to reflect.
  20. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    I agree. Indeed, I think distracted driving is already illegal. So is reckless driving. I do not understand the need for a statute for every single derivative.
  21. dthmtlgod macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    Note to the public, the Apple Watch is not the first smart watch released :)
    Why is this now an issue, Pebble, LG, Sony, Martian and others have had their products released and in the wild for years.
  22. SteveBlobs macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2013
    I think you're missing the point. It's not that you will always die when you glance at a text message, it's just showing how little time it takes being distracted for you to die.

    When I was recently shopping for a new car I was hoping to find one I liked that also included Carplay. I wasn't successful, but I've heard negative things about that technology too, mainly that it makes you a much more distracted driver than an ordinary car radio system. I look forward to this sort of technology making it into our vehicles, but I hope the companies behind them (Apple, Google) put the effort into making them safe.
  23. sananda macrumors 68020

    May 24, 2007
    Careless driving covers it over here (England & Wales).
  24. WestonHarvey1 macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    It will save lives in comparison to the situation with smart phones. People aren't going to stop using technology while driving. They just aren't. So far better to have something they can glance at and use Siri on without fumbling around with a smartphone.
  25. medazinol macrumors regular


    Jul 17, 2002
    It's just a matter of time before operating anything electronic or having buttons, including the radio or climate controls, inside cars will be illegal.

    My new Lincoln MKC has voice control functions that are quite extensive, including climate control but don't go quite far enough (it can read text messages but I can't respond to them) and bluetooth control over my phone is rudimentary.

    Laws will require that cars have voice control only which begs the question, maybe Apple is indeed doing a secret project to improve car interfaces like voice control with Siri in order to beat legislation to the punch and have a functional system that car makers can implement....

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