Your global positioning system (GPS) device is — like many modern electronics — a huge improvement over the past. You no longer have to write down directions, memorize your next exit or stop to check a map on a trip.
Overall, most technological advancements in cars make them safer. Backup cameras prevent accidents, as do lane-departure warning systems or automatic braking systems. Airbags and crumple zones help to reduce injuries if accidents do happen. Many cars even have systems that can call 911 in the event of a crash so that help is dispatched immediately.
But what about that GPS? Yes, it certainly makes it easier to drive your car, especially to places you’ve never been before, but does it make you a more dangerous driver?
Two problems with GPS technology affect driver safety
Perhaps the largest problem with a GPS is that it’s a distraction. Drivers get distracted listening to the instructions, reading the screen or typing the destination in while they drive. Anything that you do other than actively driving the car is a distraction, and a GPS often fits that bill. Accidents have happened because drivers weren’t thinking about traffic and were looking at the GPS.
Another issue, though perhaps not as common, is that drivers blindly follow the GPS and make mistakes. A road could be closed. A driver could turn left on a red light because the GPS says “turn left now” and they fail to think about how they still have to wait for the light. These are still human errors, but they stem from that GPS.
What to do when you’ve been injured by a distracted driver
If you get injured by a distracted driver, you may have a right to substantial compensation for your injuries and the related costs. Make sure you are well aware of the steps you’ll need to take to get what you deserve. It’s generally prudent to have an attorney advocate for you with the insurance company involved.