Talking on mobile phones. Using a tablet. Eating food. Chatting with a passenger.
What do all these things have in common?
They are all prime examples of the kind of distracted driving behavior that has factored into thousand of car accidents in the past few years.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that distracted driving directly caused 10 percent of the fatal traffic accidents in 2015.
But as much as we are all aware of the common types of distracted driving behavior, there is one behavior that isn’t as well publicized, and that is the danger of using stand-alone GPS devices.
Let’s take a quick look at why stand-alone GPS devices pose the same risk to drivers, so that you can modify your use of them while you’re driving.
Why Using GPS Devices Could Increase the Number of Car Accidents
Many drivers install stand-alone GPS devices on their dashboard or their windshield, so that they can get directions when they are driving.
But did you know that it is illegal in 28 states to mount these devices to a windshield?
The reason is that installing a GPS device on your windshield creates an unnecessary distraction, and may also block you from having a complete view of the road.
However, a GPS device that is legally mounted to your dashboard still presents a distraction, because even when the device is equipped with turn-by-turn navigation, drivers will still glance at the map on the device to ensure that they are headed in the right direction.
And most GPS devices require that you input the address of your destination manually, which means that to use the device, you have to take one of your hands off the wheel, and you also have to shift your eyes from the road to the device.
Remember that distracted driving is defined as any behavior that forces a driver to remove his or her hands off the wheel, or takes his or her eyes off the road.
If you want to use a stand-alone GPS device, program the destination address before you get on the road, or pull over if you have to input a new address.
Distracted Driving Is Dangerous Driving
Any activity that takes your eyes off the road for even the blink of an eye is enough to cause you to lose control of your vehicle and trigger a car accident. But as much information as we have about the dangers of mobile phones and texting, we are less aware of the dangers posed by GPS devices. The bottom line is that drivers must limit distractions in their vehicles to avoid devastating car accidents. And if you have been involved in an accident caused by distracted driving, the team at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. can help you. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.