Over reliance on GPS on our roads has caused plenty of speculation about its detrimental effect on our natural navigation abilities and even on how it might cause parts of the brain to shrink. Others have speculated on the resulting chaos should a hacker/terrorist knock out the GPS system altogether. However, the many car accidents caused by GPS over reliance is not speculation. Here is why:
GPS Often Inspires Blind Acceptance of Its Directions
A GPS lulls its users into blindly following its recommendations and does this in an insidious way. It is almost always right. It unerringly gives accurate directions, which inspires the complete confidence of its users. This confidence causes some people to stop looking at road signs and to give little thought as to the route they’re taking or the direction in which they travel.
This leaves the driver unprepared for when the GPS gives wrong directions. A GPS does make mistakes because the information in it becomes more dated with each passing day. Recent road or bridge closures, for example, are missing from the GPS database.
Sometimes, important information simply isn’t loaded into the device in the first place. Some GPS devices make their recommendations based on simple distance and speed calculations without regard to other factors such as whether the road is paved, or too narrow, or whether the grades are too steep for the safe passage of large and heavy vehicles.
When erroneous directions are given to motorists who blindly trust their GPS, they do all kinds of things that defy common sense. These include driving into bays, rivers, and driving on closed bridges. People drive the wrong way on one-way streets, make illegal turns, cause pileup accidents, and drive onto railway lines. School bus drivers’ over reliance on GPS endanger their children passengers when their GPS directs them under overpasses that lack sufficient clearance.
When faulty GPS directions result in an accident, the fault lies with the driver rather than the GPS. Why? Because the law requires all motorists to obey road signage, not their GPS. It’s the motorist’s responsibility to drive safely, to focus on their driving, and to respond to what their senses tell them is happening on the road. Accidents caused by blindly following GPS directions are the result of negligence.
If you or someone close to you were injured in a car accident by a negligent motorist, the lawyers at Hogan Injury can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.