People are using their smartwatches while driving, survey finds


Scanwatch Apple Watch

Source: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore

While there has been attention drawn to the problems caused by using smartphones while driving we’ve heard precious little about smartwatches. Are people using them when driving, and if so, what are they doing?

That’s a question UK-based car buying service Choose My Car set out to find out. After surveying 2,000 smartwatch-owning drivers — presumably, a healthy number was Apple Watch owners — the results might be surprising to some.

For example, 18% of people said that they read messages and notifications from their wrist while behind the wheel. 16% of respondents had used their wrist computer to accept or decline a call, too.

The rundown of things people admitted doing with their smartwatches while driving includes:

  • Read a message or notification 18%
  • Accept or decline a call 16%
  • Reply to a message 14%
  • Skip a music track 14%
  • Read sat nav instructions 10%
  • Scroll and find a playlist or song on Spotify (or other music streaming services) 7%

In total, 49% of men said that they’d used their smartwatches while driving with the results very much skewed towards younger drivers.

When looking at age of smartwatch users while driving:

  • Under 34 years old 58%
  • 35 – 54 years old 43%
  • Over 55 years old just 7%

While there are rightly laws against using your iPhone while driving, using your Apple Watch is even more dangerous in many ways. Its screen is smaller, for example, taking even more attention to read. There is currently “very little clarity or publicity around the legalities of smartwatch use while driving,” the report notes. And while I’m a big fan of Apple Watch Series 7, I can heartily say that using it while driving is a terrible idea.



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