Using Your Cell Phone as a Primary GPS: Read This Before You Act

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With technology all over the place, there are enough distractions on the road without multitasking one device with another. In a recent case in Massachusetts, an 18-year old was distracted by her global positioning system (GPS) when she hit a 56-year old man by the side of the road, killing him instantly when he was thrown from the scene. The driver admitted she had been using her GPS at the time of the incident. Any in-car devices that take our eyes off the road can be dangerous, and we’ve heard over and over about the dangers of texting while driving. Adjusting the GPS while driving is just as dangerous as texting. Even more danger comes when someone multitasks by using the cell phone as the GPS.

When devices are used simultaneously for different uses, the risk of injury and distraction is multiplied, particularly when that device wasn’t intended for that particular use. It’s tempting to download applications to our cell phones, and many of those apps are useful. But, just because an app is available for download, doesn’t mean that it will be used in its best intention. Traditional GPS systems sold on their own for the intended purpose are designed to so that their readability is better and bigger. The mapping shows clearly on the screen without the driver having to search too much for what he or she is looking for. The voice-activated feature gives users plenty of time to hear the next command for where they need to go. A cell phone, however, is not designed to accommodate a standard GPS, except in a pinch. Here are some precautions that can be taken when driving with a GPS and cell phone:

  • The best rule is to never use your cell phone as a GPS, unless you are forced to do so.
  • Set an example for your children by not texting on your phone or manipulating a GPS while driving. Always pull off to the side of the road before you text or program.
  • Best practices mean turning navigation over to a passenger who can assist you with the mapping directions so you can stay focused on the road.
  • Program your GPS ahead of time so that you will not have to make adjustments on the road. Read the directions for a general idea of your route.

If you or a loved one has been injured by someone who was distracted while driving, either from a cell phone, a GPS or other in-car device or situation, your loss and aftermath can be devastating. When you seek the advice of someone who specializes in personal injury law, you will know that their best intentions are your justice and compensation. Our firm is here to assist you in the event of an accident, and we encourage you to always use safe driving practices.