Do GPS Systems Cause Distracted Driving Accidents?

By Tim O’Hare

More and more drivers are using GPS systems to navigate while driving. While many newer cars come with voice-activated GPS preinstalled, the use of handheld GPS devices, or GPS on cell phones is common.

While GPS is intended to help drivers avoid getting lost and reach their destination, or even by parents to keep track of their teenage drivers, does the use of GPS lead to distracted driving?

The answer: Yes.

GPS systems can take a driver’s focus off the road. What’s worse is that many drivers program their GPS while driving, which is no better than sending a text message or reading an email while driving.

How can you utilize new technology intended to make driving more convenient, and keep your family safe at the same time?

Program your GPS to your destination before you start driving. Before you pull out of your driveway or the parking lot, set your GPS to your destination.

Ask for help from passengers in your vehicle. If you must change your route or use the system to find a fuel station or restaurant on your route ask a passenger in your car to make the necessary changes to your navigation system. If you don’t have any passengers with you, or they are not old enough to operate the system, pull off the road.

Do not mute your GPS device. While driving, keep voice commands on your device turned on. Muting the voice commands increases the number of times you will glance at the screen to follow your route. Listening to voice commands will help keep your eyes on the road and decrease your chances of being involved in an accident.

GPS navigation systems have caused hundreds of thousands of car accidents across the world. Not only for distracted driving, but due to drivers following errant GPS directions into dangerous situations. Use common sense. Pay attention to where you are going. Know your route before you leave, and use your navigation system only as secondary guidance.

If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in a car accident, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare to speak with a Dallas personal injury attorney. Call us at 972-960-0000 or toll-free at 1-888-960-0020.