You are surely familiar with many types of distractions that are considered hazardous while driving – texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, reading, horsing around with passengers in the back seat and playing with the radio knob or other controls on the dashboard.
Anything that takes your mental concentration or eyes off the road, even briefly, is a serious danger to you and others. According to experts, glancing away from the road for just a couple of seconds “doubles your risk for a crash.”
One of the biggest driving distractions, however, is something that’s actually designed to be used in a car: Your global positioning system (GPS) device.
It’s a great device, but it still poses a problem for driving safety
A GPS can be extremely helpful. Instead of grappling with an unwieldy, outmoded paper map as drivers had to do in the past, this technology not only tells you exactly how to get to your destination, it also “speaks” to you, giving you directions as you travel.
Terrific, right? Well, not entirely. Keep these important GPS “don’ts” in mind next time you refer to one while you’re behind the wheel:
- Don’t check directions on the GPS while operating a vehicle.
- Don’t try to program your GPS as you drive.
- Don’t suddenly stop, reverse course or make any other instantaneous maneuvers because you realized you got the GPS directions wrong.
- Don’t fiddle with the GPS audio as you drive.
Practice responsible GPS use all the time
Some sensible rules can lessen the chance of a crash if you decide to use a GPS.
Put your cell phone into a cell phone holder so you can see the GPS display without peering down at the phone or fumbling for it. If possible, get help from your passenger. Have a good idea of your route prior to hitting the road. It eliminates referring to a GPS over and over. Make sure that the GPS audio is not competing with the radio.
Avoid distracted driving for any reason
Use common sense. While your GPS can come in handy, it can also be a hazard if used improperly. Other drivers may not be aware of the perils of distracted driving. If one of them is responsible for a collision that leaves you with injuries, you have every right to pursue compensation for your losses.