Drivers could be hit by £5,000 fine for checking their WATCH amid ‘terrifying trend’ on the roads

DRIVERS could see themselves slapped with a fine of up to £5,000 for checking their smartwatch at the wheel.

The device can be just as distracting as a phone, making you a hazard on the UK's roads.

Using your phone behind the wheel already comes with a £200 fine and six points on your licence – but checking a smartwatch can be just as dangerous.

Looking at your watch takes your eyes and concentration off of the roads.

While there is no direct law around using the devices when behind the wheel, police can charge motorists with "careless driving" if they believe you were distracted from driving by your smartwatch

This can see drivers with a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points.

However, fines can increase if your case gets taken to court and you are convicted.

If proven to have been driving without due care and attention, you can get a £5,000 fine, up to nine points on your licence and even the possibility you are banned from driving.

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In a survey completed by Choose My Car, they asked 2000 adults about their habits with a smartwatch behind the wheel.

Shockingly, 43 per cent of drivers admitted to using a smartwatch while driving.

14 per cent said they would reply to a message on a smartwatch while driving and 18 per cent also admitted to reading a message or notification when it came through.

Founder of ChooseMyCar.com, Nick Zapolski, thinks the statistics are a "worrying disregard" for the hazards of smartwatch usage when driving.

He said: “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."

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