Nearly half of UK drivers who wear smartwatches admit to regularly using them while driving their vehicles.
The research by Choose My Car, showed that shockingly, 43 per cent of drivers openly admit to using their smartwatches behind the wheel.
Men were more likely to check them than women, with a whopping 49 per cent admitting to using the devices while driving. And younger drivers were the worst culprits, with a staggering 58 per cent stating they used their smartwatches while in control of a vehicle.
The use of smartwatches while driving varied geographically, with the most prolific use being seen in London, where 61 per cent of people admitted to checking while driving. Outside of London, the cities with the highest incidence of drivers checking their smartwatches were Belfast, Birmingham and Bristol.
The most common reason for people to look at their devices was to read a message, with a fifth of drivers admitting to this (18%). Accepting and declining a call (16%) was the second most common use, followed by replying to messages while driving..
Founder of ChooseMyCar.com, Nick Zapolski, said the statistics show a worrying disregard for the dangers of using smartwatches while driving.
“These statistics show a terrifying trend of UK drivers – especially younger ones – feeling that it’s acceptable to use their smartwatches despite how this impacts their driving. As the use of these devices becomes more prolific, that means there will be literally millions of drivers behaving like this.
“Studies have shown that smartwatches are actually more distracting to check while driving than mobile phones, and yet the rules and regulations around using them are not clearly in place. It’s a disaster waiting to happen and we would urge the Government and smartwatch producers to take action on preventing drivers from using the devices.
“There’s currently very little clarity or publicity around the legalities of smartwatch use while driving, and if that continues it’s going to cost lives.”
AA President Edmund King said a thorough review of communications and driver legislation is underway and Smartwatches would be included and he added, “If someone is spotted staring at a Smartwatch and driving erratically then they could be prosecuted for careless or dangerous driving or undue care and attention.”