Still trying to get a Google Glass invite? That’s cool, but there’s something that you should be aware of: A Google Glass wearer recently received a ticket for “distracted driving.” A police officer initially pulled the driver over for speeding, something that’s not in dispute, but then added the distraction violation to the ticket. The driver is disputing the charge of distracted driving, claiming that her Glass was turned off and in no way obstructed her vision.
Part of the problem here appears to be the application of existing distracted driving laws to an entirely new technology. Many states have laws restricting the use of potentially distracting devices, such as phones and video monitors, while driving. The importance of these laws are obvious: Accidents happen when drivers aren’t paying attention to the road and other drivers.
But Google Glass is a different matter: It’s possible to turn the device off while driving, which is what the driver in this case claims she did, and the glass itself doesn’t block vision. The problem is that, when turned on, Google Glass displays text and images, which could be distracting to a driver. Moreover, the information displayed by Google Glass might be of interest to drivers, such as maps and information about weather and road conditions, making its use tempting while on the road.
The question is whether Google Glass is a safe information delivery method for individuals who are driving: A question that has not yet been decided by any authoritative body.
What to Do?
If you drive, think twice about wearing your Google Glass while behind the wheel. Check the laws in the area where you’ll be driving and if you need help finding your way during the drive, opt for legally-permitted GPS devices or getting instructions from a passenger. Until more clarity on the safety and legality of the device has been achieved, best to wear your normal driving glasses and save your Google Glass for when you’re out exploring on foot.