The new Snapchat glasses will be released soon, possibly in 2016. The shades are being introduced at $129. But these aren’t your average set of spectacles, these shades record video for the social network Snapchat.
Will Snapchat Spectacles lead to distracted driving?
Anything can be distracting. Lipstick, the radio, a passenger, and of course making a phone call or texting. Drivers can also be distracted by their gadgets and wearable tech like the Apple Watch, Gear S2, Fitbit, or Google Glass. Could a driver get carried away with Snapchat Spectacles? Definitely.
How the glasses work remains yet to be seen, but at first glance it appears that clicking a button on the frame will allow the glasses to record. Unfortunately, the first thing most people like to do after recording something, is, play the video back.
People have already caused wrecks while playing with the Snapchat app. In one case, someone rear-ended another driver at over 100mph.
Are Snapchat Spectacles legal to use while driving?
This is a grey area and the answer will vary from state to state. Washington has strict laws when it comes to cell phone use, and was the first state to pass a texting while driving law back in 2007. However, use of a hands-free device like a speaker phone, headset or earpiece is permitted.
RCW 46.61.667 makes it a traffic violation for a person operating a moving motor vehicle to hold a wireless communications device to his or her ear. The statutory notes on this section advise that when a driver holds a wireless communications device with one hand and drives with the other, the chances of that driver being involved in an accident increase. A driver is not technically holding anything with their hands with Snapchat Spectacles.
It will be interesting to see how the spectacles work, if they are legal to use or not while driving, and how lawmakers react. If you do get Spectacles, please do not drive while distracted.