Thanks to Global Positioning Systems (GPS), getting lost is virtually a thing of the past. Motorists simply type in the address of their destination, and the GPS system tells them exactly how to get there, and how long it will take. It will even re-route the driver if there is an accident on the road ahead, or if he or she misses a turn or mistakenly goes in the wrong direction.
Drivers who are old enough to remember what it was like before GPS and Google Maps often wonder how they ever got anywhere. Although this technology has significantly improved the way drivers get from one place to another, GPS can also be a major distraction. In fact, according to a 2017 study commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, programming navigation systems was the most distracting activity for drivers, even more so than texting while driving. This can cause serious distracted driving car accidents.
HOW DO GPS SYSTEMS WORK?
GPS navigation systems are widely used by motorists across the United States and around the world, and have been described as the most precise navigation system ever invented. It is a global navigation satellite that provides motorists with information about location, velocity, and time synchronization. As GPS satellites circle the earth, they transmit signal information to GPS receivers, which take that information and use it to calculate the driver’s exact location.
WHY CAN GPS APPS BE DANGEROUS?
There have been reports of drivers who, when following directions provided by the navigation app Waze, ended up turning onto train tracks or driving off the end of a ferry into an unfamiliar area. Although these are extreme examples, motorists can easily become confused or disoriented when driving in an unfamiliar or dangerous area, particularly when it is dark outside. Navigation systems can also alert the driver when they are approaching a traffic jam, car accident, or construction zone. Each of these features are meant to be beneficial to the driver, but require them to input certain features manually. If a driver does this while driving, this results in a significant amount of time that their attention is off the road.
WHAT ARE THE DISTRACTED DRIVING BEHAVIORS SPECIFIC TO GPS?
According to AAA, in-vehicle technology has its benefits, but when motorists use their GPS while driving, it increases the risk of a car accident. The following are examples of distracted driving behaviors associated with GPS technology:
- Programming the GPS while driving is just as dangerous as texting. Most motorists understand that texting while driving is extremely dangerous, but they do not make the connection that it takes just as long to program the GPS as it does to send a text.
- If the driver turns off the sound on the GPS in order to listen to music, they will need to look at the GPS system more often, which means that their attention is not on the road ahead.
- Drivers often look up locations for specific places on the GPS while driving. According to a survey by I Drive Safely, 51 percent motorists said that they look up directions while driving, and 18 percent said that they look up the locations of stores, restaurants, or bars while they are driving.
- Missing a turn or reacting too late to GPS instructions can cause the driver to make a sudden turn, slam on the brakes, or suddenly change lanes, all of which can cause serious accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to distracted driver related car accident, let us help! Call Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck in Milwaukee TODAY at (414) 223-4444 to have one of our caring lawyers come out to meet you and get car accident help TODAY and money for your injuries. There is no fee until we win.
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