Wearable tech from Apple could distract drivers and impact on road collisions, according to motorist charity

Using Apple Watch when driving could result in £100 fine

Users of the Apple Watch have been warned about potential risks when driving.

The Department for Transport has announced that using an Apple Watch while driving will carry the same penalty as using a hand-held mobile phone of three license penalty points and a £100 fine.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists has also said that the new device could be just as dangerous as using a mobile when driving, as users will check for updates and messages.

The charity’s previous research carried out between 2006 and 2010 also found that distraction from a mobile phone was a contributory factor in over 1000 road accidents.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research said: “An iWatch has the potential to be just as distracting as any other smartphone device. Indeed more so if you have to take your hand off the wheel and your eyes off the road to interact with it.

“Enforcement will be difficult for the police, but powers exist to seize and interrogate devices in the event of a serious crash. The very device that distracted you also has the power to convict you.”

The Apple Watch was revealed last week and starts at $349 and will be available in early 2015. The new device features a built-in heart rate sensor, a new watch OS, built-in speaker and microphone, plus users will feel a gentle vibration when a message is received. 

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