GPS Car Accident

GPS and the Increased Risk for Vehicle Crashes

When Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill in April banning texting while driving for drivers with learning permits and teens in the first six months of driving, it was a small step towards addressing a major problem. At the time he signed the legislation, there had already been over 740 car crashes in Arizona believed to have been caused by distracted driving.

Arizona is one of only four states without a blanket ban on texting while driving. It’s clear to safety advocates, lawmakers and drivers that distraction is a serious problem on our roads.

But while many people tend to associate distracted driving with texting, it’s important for us to remember that other features on our phones, such as GPS navigation, can also be distracting.

Navigation Systems Must Be Used Properly

GPS navigation has changed the way we find map our routes. Gone are the days that we unfold maps, print out directions and ask strangers for directions. All we have to do is enter an address into our smartphones or navigation system and we are given step-by-step directions to our destinations. What’s often overlooked about these systems is just how distracting they can be for drivers.

Consider what is involved in sending a text message. You must take a hand and your eyes off the road to read and to enter a text, but the same is true for entering a destination on a navigation device. When you take your eyes off the road for five seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour, you’ll have driven the length of an entire football field without looking at the road.

If You’re Using GPS, You’re Likely Unfamiliar with the Area

GPS is often used by people who need directions. Users might be unfamiliar with the streets they’re driving and potentially distracted or slightly disoriented by unfamiliar surroundings. Uber and Lyft drivers also use GPS to get where they’re going, and they’re often dealing with passengers, navigating streets and following directions at the same time.

In other words, many people using GPS are already distracted on some level, and navigation systems may cause further distraction.

If you use your GPS the same way you send texts – holding a device in your hand and typing while driving – you’re putting others at risk. A distracted driver is more likely to collide with other vehicles and strike pedestrians. They present a risk that is comparable to drunk, drowsy or aggressive driving. However, there are ways to make sure your GPS navigation is used as safely as possible.

Use Your GPS the Right Way

As Consumer Reports points out, there are a couple of steps you can take to minimize the dangers associated with GPS. First, make sure to enter directions in your phone or navigation system before you start driving. Second, mount your device in accordance with state law. By mounting your device, you’ll be able to keep both hands on the wheel while also keeping the device closer to your line of site.

GPS represents a step forward in navigation technology, but it can be quite dangerous if it is used improperly. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver in Tucson, the Khalidi Law Firm is here to help. Our distracted driving attorneys will make sure you get the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with the Khalidi Law Firm, fill out our online contact form or give us a call at 520.629.9909.