Can a wrist watch get you busted for not following hands-free driving laws? More importantly, is using Apple Watch while driving dangerous?
In Quebec, Canada, a driver said he was fined $120 and given four points on his driving record, according to 9to5Mac. His offense? Using his Apple Watch to change music while driving.
Meanwhile, the LaMarche Safranko Law blog reported in April that an Apple Watch was “a new way to get a 5 point traffic ticket.”
Under New York State’s Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1225-d, for instance, the Apple Watch is likely to fall under at least four definitions of a portable electronic device, such as a two-way messaging device, a portable computing device, “or any other electronic device…used to input, write, send, receive, or read text for present or future communication.”
Translation: If you use such a device while driving, you’re subject “to the same five point traffic ticket as someone talking on their cell phone, or texting while driving,” according to the law blog.
You might assume using Apple Watch for navigation or dictating text messages via Siri behind the wheel is safer than using your iPhone for those tasks. It’s not. On the few occasions I’ve tried both, I’ve found myself looking at the tiny Apple Watch screen way more than I would have needed to look at my iPhone screen. It felt unsafe. And as a result, it probably was.
As tempting as it is to use your awesome new Apple watch, don’t do it while you drive. OK, you can glance at the time for a split second, but that’s it. Otherwise, you’re taking what could be a big risk.
Plus, let’s be real: Apple Maps still sucks. It sucks on an iPhone. Therefore, it sucks on an Apple Watch. So why risk a ticket or an accident because of a sucky navigation app?