Google has done it again. The revolutionary company that brought you arguably the best search engine and owns YouTube is now unveiling its newest, innovative computerized feature yet: Google Glass. For those who don’t know, Google Glass is a wearable computer (as “glasses”) that streams social media, email, messages, calls, etc. Although this product is cool and cutting edge, how safe is it?
Currently, one of the biggest causes of accidents while driving is cell phone use. In fact, a study found in 2011 that 3,331 people were killed, and 387,000 were injured in crashes caused by a distracted driver.  Additionally, in 2012, 60,000 people were injured in vehicle-pedestrian accidents and 4,000 people were killed.  Clearly, preoccupied drivers aren’t the only ones at risk.
Like zombies walking aimlessly and nearly blindly due to “multi-tasking” with smart phones, these individuals are putting themselves and others in danger every day and with every step just so they can stay current with the latest updates. With chilling statistics such as these, people are left to ask, “Will Google Glass only add to the problem?”
Some states aren’t waiting for accidents to happen to fuel new laws and restrictions. The West Virginia Legislature has already proposed a law to ban the use a “wearable computer with head mounted display.” Gary G. Howell, a Republican member of the Legislature in support of the ban said “…We heard of so many crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest drivers. I see the Google Glass as an extension.” In a response to the growing safety concerns, Google stated that they are “putting a lot of thought into the design of Glass because new technologies always raise new issues. We actually believe there is tremendous potential to improve safety on our roads and reduce accidents.” In addition to investing in new technologies, Google’s advertising campaign deflects from accidents potentially caused while wearing Google Glass by showing how this product is simply a human addition.
Ultimately it is up to the consumer to both purchase the product and regulate how they use it. Laws, bans, and restrictions can only go so far to protect the welfare of individuals. All users, no matter the device, must be accountable for their actions. With great technology, comes great responsibility; advancements such as Google Glass were bound to happen now, or later; innovation is coming – operating responsibly is key.