Navigating a vehicle can be difficult in certain situations, especially
when you're unfamiliar with the route. Fortunately, GPS and navigation
systems are fairly common in vehicles on Georgia roadways. Whether your
automobile came stocked with a navigation system, offers OnStar guidance,
or you purchased a handheld GPS device, just about every vehicle is equipped
with some sort of electronic mapping device.
These devices have caused paper maps to be a thing of the past, which is
good for a variety of reasons. The simplest being that following electronic
turn-by-turn directions is much easier than deciphering paper maps. It
is also much safer to use electronic voice navigation so that drivers
aren't tempted to look at their paper maps while behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, GPS technologies can also be fatally dangerous. The obvious
dangers lie in drivers becoming distracted by the electronic devices.
Updating or changing routes while driving can be extremely unsafe. Another
potential danger is that navigation and GPS systems sometimes don’t
take into account the law of the road. For instance, if you miss a turn
or need to be driving in the opposite direction, GPS devices will oftentimes
instruct you to make a U-turn at the next opportunity. The state of Georgia
imposes regulations on what intersections can be navigated via a U-turn
for safety reasons. In the event that you cause an accident by following
the ill-advised instruction of a navigation system, you will likely be
held liable for the crash. Ultimately, your own common sense and judgement
should override any instruction given by a GPS system.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using electronic navigation:
- Safety is more important than punctuality. It is more important to arrive
at your destination safely than to navigate roadways in an unsafe manner
just to shave a few minutes off your commute.
- Familiarize yourself with GPS units before starting to drive a vehicle.
Never set or edit your destination while operating the automobile.
- Turn the navigation’s voice directions on before you start the vehicle
so that you aren’t looking at the screen while driving.
- Use care when deciding where to mount your GPS within the vehicle. It should
not obstruct your view of the road.
- When in doubt, follow your own knowledge of the rules of the road. If a
GPS device is instructing you to make a movement which you’re questioning
the safety of, don’t do it.
Distracted driving of any kind is illegal in Georgia. If you’re involved in an injury-causing
crash and found to have caused the crash due to distraction behind the
wheel, you could be held liable. For more information on what is constituted
as distracted driving or if you’ve been injured in a crash as a
result of another’s distraction, call 770-427-5498 to speak to a
knowledgeable Georgia injury lawyer.