The Future of Distracted Driving

Ohio’s getting tough on texting.

While it’s only a secondary offense for adults, teens can be pulled over if they’re using almost any electronic device.

The dangers of texting are almost a cliche, with countless PSAs and texting deaths becoming plot points in shows like Go On. That being said, how many years and how many accidents had to happen before we had a ban?

I don’t think this is a “nanny state” issue. Driving is an activity that effects the people around you, not just yourself. Bans on big gulps and trans fats are a different matter than distracted driving.

The pace of technology is greater than the pace of law. Smartphones and tablets only increase the number of things we try to do while driving. And even a hands free bluetooth can be a distraction if the call is emotional or agitating.

But this is only the beginning. Google’s new Glass will introduce the general public to wearable computing, and to the new world of augmented reality. Remember those TV shows where random facts about the show and actors popped up on your screen. Now imagine that an inch from your face. You look at a nearby store and a coupon pops up. You look down the road and Google informs you of traffic snarls.

It may not be all bad, but sight and reaction time are the most important factors in driving. We’re not as good at multi-tasking as we think. Our brains may be good at switching back and forth between tasks really quickly, but not at the exact same time.

Driving with Google Glass will be dangerous and I think we need to get out ahead of its release with a ban similar to the one on texting. We need law that can keep up with new gadgets. Whether through some kind of review committee or broader law I’m not sure, but it’s a discussion we need to have.

Before the first Google related death…

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2 Comments

Filed under Trube On Tech

2 responses to “The Future of Distracted Driving

  1. Maine just passed a bunch of new laws for distracted driving as well. They doubled the fines and heightened consequences for teens. It’s scary how many people I see drive by me that are looking down, obviously playing with some sort of device. That Google Glass looks to only cause more problems. Can’t people just drive their damn cars?

  2. Pingback: Taking off our blinders | [BTW] : Ben Trube, Writer

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