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Safely Using Your Navigational GPS Device While Driving

Any driver in New York City can tell you that the Big Apple can be a real mess of traffic during certain hours of the day, such as all of them. Navigational global positioning system (GPS) units and programs – either separate as their own devices or downloadable through smartphones – have made the entire process much easier in recent years, as well as much more dangerous. As if drivers did not have enough on their minds, a GPS unit can be yet another source of driver distraction, leading to a dangerous car accident.

To avoid getting into a distracted driving accident, keep these hints in mind when using your GPS:

  1. Pull over: First and foremost, a GPS unit or a GPS app on your phone should never be used while you are driving. Most versions actually will not allow you to perform any functions if it detects that your vehicle is in motion. Just to be careful, find a safe spot to pull over and tinker with the gadget then and only then.
  2. Secure it: Use some sort of device mount to keep your GPS unit or your phone stable while you drive. Secure it in a spot that is not going to block your field of view while driving, but also will not require you to look well away from the road ahead to see it. Right on the center console is usually good.
  3. Predestination: Do you know where you’re going next? Type it into the navigational system before you even get into your car. Now all the trouble of trying to type in a complicated address while simultaneously driving is completely avoided. You should also review the route it suggests and check it ahead of time for traffic problems.
  4. Familiarization: New gadgets can be fun to use and discover all of their functions and options, but driving is not the time to do so. Why not set aside 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with your GPS unit before your next trip? It could allow you to handle a glitch or problem with ease, should one come up while you are behind the wheel.
  5. Be human: This means you need to still think for yourself and judge driving situations using your own trusted knowledge of the road and rules. Sometimes a GPS will tell you to drive the wrong way on a one-way street, or report the speed limit is 45 miles per hour when its actually just 25. Never put your own better judgement aside for what a programmable robot has to say.

No matter how safe you are with your GPS device, it will not help you if another negligence driver allows themselves to become distracted by their own GPS or cellphone. If you get hit by a distracted driver and suffer a serious injury in the resulting car accident, be sure to call 646.461.4009 to connect with a New York City personal injury attorney from Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP today. We offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients, so there’s no reason to hesitate to get the legal help you need.