Google Glass users are just as distracted as smartphone users when texting while driving, according to a new study.
In the first-of-its-kind experiment, researchers from the University of Central Florida gave 40 participants either Google Glass or a smartphone to use in a driving simulator.
During the experiment, participants had to react to a vehicle that came to an abrupt halt on the simulator screen in front of them. Researchers compared people’s reaction times to the close call (on both devices, while texting and not), and Glass users reacted just as slowly as smartphone users.
“Texting with either a smartphone or Glass will cause distraction and should be avoided while driving,” said UCF researcher Ben Sawyer. However, there is an upside from the study for those holding out hope that this technology will someday allow drivers to multitask safely.
Glass users regained control of their vehicles faster during the experiment, compared to smartphone users. “Glass did help drivers in our study recover more quickly than those texting on a smartphone. We hope that Glass points the way to technology that can help deliver information with minimal risk,” Sawyer said.
But with over 1.6 million car accidents a year caused by distracted drivers using cell phones, it’s safest to keep your eyes on the road until we all have self-driving cars.