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Understanding How to Safely Use GPS Navigation Systems


WFLA News 8 recently reported that nearly 100 drivers to were led to a muddy field by the Google Maps GPS navigation application on their phones. The app apparently sent dozens of vehicles on a route that included a dirt road that was full of mud following recent rain. Unfortunately, many of the vehicles became stranded in the mud and others were unable to turn around to leave because there were fields or trenches on either side of the one-lane road. The road, which is reportedly privately owned and maintained, had a “Road Closed” sign, but it had fallen over and was difficult to see. Regardless, this does not change the fact that it is unclear why the drivers were led to the Colorado dirt road by Google Maps in the first place.

This bizarre scenario illustrates why it so important to understand that as reliable as GPS applications may seem, there are still certain safety tips that can help you arrive safely to your destination while using one.

How Dependent Are We On the GPS Navigation Systems On Our Phones?

We all remember the bulky and expensive GPS devices that had to be purchased separately and were hard to use – and technology has come a long way. These days, global positioning systems, or GPS systems, are standard on pretty much every smart phone and are also built into most newer model vehicles. In contrast with the recent incident that happened in Colorado, most of these systems are uncannily accurate. This is probably why we all depend on them so much.

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2015, 67 percent of smartphone owners reported using their phone at least occasionally for turn-by-turn navigation while driving. Additionally, 31 percent described themselves as doing so “frequently”.

However, in addition to using GPS systems often, we should also be making an effort to do so safely.

What Are Safety Tips for Using GPS Navigation?

  • Program the address before hitting the road. Sadly, many accidents are caused by distracted drivers who are simply attempting to punch in an address to a GPS while driving.
  • Use the voice feature. Pretty much every GPS system gives the user the option of hearing the directions out loud. Always use this option while driving to keep your eyes on the road and off of your GPS system.
  • Understand that GPS systems are not perfect. In case something goes wrong with your GPS on your journey, review your route in advance. While driving, pay attention to traffic signs and speed limits and anticipate there may be changes not reflected on your GPS information.

Have You Been Injured in an Accident?

Despite your best efforts to be safe while using a GPS to navigate from one destination to another, unfortunately, you can still be injured in a car accident. If you have been injured, you should be aware that you have options under Florida law to recover for your injuries regardless of whether you were an accident alone or one that resulted because of someone else’s negligence. Either way, you need to obtain the help of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to give you the best chance of maximizing your claim. You can depend on the Fort Myers personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm to be the legal team that you need on your side to ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us for help today.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Jacksonville, Tampa, Bradenton, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Daytona Beach areas.




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