It’s called smart technology, but in reality, technology is only as smart as the person using it. With the advent of smartwatches, many people are wondering whether these tinier devices are a safer alternative to the larger, well-known smartphone. There are pros and cons to each side, but the safest option will ultimately be determined by the user.

Safety in Familiarity

Individuals who believe the smartphone to be safer than the smartwatch point toward the notion of familiarity. People have been so extensively exposed to smartphone technology that there is little to no learning curve involved. Because of this lack of learning curve, the use of the smartphones tends to almost be second nature, which results in fewer accidents than the smartwatch may cause simply because it takes so little focus to operate them. The counterargument, however, is that this comfort in knowing how the device works so extensively leads to use in situations where it ought not to be used, such as behind the wheel.

Smaller Screens Mean Less Distraction

Next, there is the notion that the screen size of the smartwatch compared to the smartphone will be safer because it will limit distractions. Because smartwatches are so much smaller than other pieces of smart technology, such as smartphones, human distraction decreases since users have less screen to look at. Moreover, newer smartphones tend to have larger screens than smartwatches feature. These larger screens were a major concern of the iPhone X release. With a screen roughly the size of an adult’s palm, the iPhone X was criticized for being a potential hazard to users. On the other hand, with a smaller screen comes a need for more focused attention. If a user is behind the wheel and looking at the tiny screen, their attention may actually be diverted away from the road longer than it would be if the user was looking at a larger screen.

Do Not Disturb

In either case, smart technology users can and should utilize the do not disturb function when engaging in a task that would be made dangerous through distraction. Regardless of whether you select a smartwatch, a smartphone or both, you need to exercise good judgment.

The degree to which a smartwatch or smartphone is safe is almost completely based on the user. To prevent accidents from occurring, you simply need to use caution. Smart technology needs to be used as a tool and not a toy.