Is your GPS making your drive dangerous?

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Global positioning systems (GPS) have become a standard part of driving for many Texans. Whether it is built into your car, or accessed through your smartphone, GPS has replaced our dependence on physical maps.

Some GPS systems can respond to changing traffic patterns, notify users of accidents and provide alternative routes when necessary. While there are many benefits to using GPS, they may also endanger your health. Learn how.

Directing drivers down questionable routes

GPS devices have been guilty of sending drivers down unsafe and unintended routes. The system may misidentify a street or overestimate its safety. If you are unsure of your surroundings, you may end up on a pothole-filled back road instead of the highway you were hoping for. This has caused some accidents, with large trucks on narrow streets they cannot navigate, or cars being led down poorly lit alleys at night.

Distracting drivers from the road

Perhaps the even greater danger GPS poses is that it takes a driver’s eyes from the road, takes their hands from the wheel and distracts their mind from their surroundings. One study found that if a driver mutes their GPS, they spend more time glancing at the screen than the road.

Every second that a driver looks at their GPS decreases their ability to react to changing road conditions and increases the opportunity for accident.

Tips to safely arrive at your destination

Limit your dependence on devices while you drive to decrease distraction. Study a map before you get behind the wheel and plan a route to your destination. While this used to be a common practice, many drivers now simply rely on their GPS. It may seem tedious, but it will allow you to focus on the road instead of trying to decipher where your GPS is sending you.

While you may practice safe driving practices, this does not guarantee that other drivers will do the same. Watch out for distracted drivers who may not see you until it is too late. If you are in an accident with a negligent or distracted driver you may be able to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim to provide the financial protection you need and deserve.

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