How can ‘Glass’ be distracting to a driver?

In the years since texting while driving has become a national issue, more than 30 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws prohibiting cell phone use behind the wheel in some fashion. Some have banned texting while driving, while others have required drivers to use some type of hands-free device in order to use their phones while in their cars.

While hands free devices are largely viewed as safer options for cell phone use while driving, the introduction of Google’s Glass may change that notion. For those who are not aware of the highly anticipated new offering, Glass is a tiny computer that is mounted on a pair of eyeglasses. It enables the user to enjoy all the applications and conveniences of a smartphone without actually touching the phone.

There is a growing chorus of safety advocates who believe that Glass will do more harm than good. They suggest that a driver cannot focus on the images produced by Glass and see the road at the same time. In essence, the same distracted driving concerns would be perpetuated with Glass. However, supporters of Glass (especially developers) suggest that drivers would only see short, momentary images while driving (such as a highlighted exit or corner as a driver approaches it) instead of a continual stream of images that could be distracting.

While there is speculation about how Glass will be used, one state (West Virginia) has already passed legislation banning its use while driving. It remains to be seen whether this new technology will be added to the cadre of distracted driving elements.

Source:, Do Chevy execs see a future with Google Glass?, October 6, 2013