Today, many of us rely on GPS navigation apps while driving but despite their good intentions, you’d be surprised to learn that they still contribute to serious car accidents. A quick search on the internet will reveal stories of motorists who blindly followed GPS directions right into closed bridges, swamps, or even closed roads. 

On the other hand, drivers who pay too close attention to their navigation apps find themselves in an accident due to distracted driving, a major cause of car accidents in Houston overall. Indeed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has investigated the counterintuitive potential of in-vehicle technologies including navigation/route guidance systems in distracting drivers. The study concluded that these apps can increase likelihoods of accidents depending on their interface design complexity, requiring more attention from drivers to operate these secondary tasks and leading to greater difficulty in lane keeping.

Despite their voice-command feature, navigation apps aren’t completely foolproof. It’s not unusual to find yourself paying more attention to the app instead of the road, particularly in cases where the app disrupts your focus with pop-up notifications that pull your eyes to the interface screen: an upcoming road block along the route, a suggested faster alternative route that requires your review and approval, an estimated slow-down up ahead, etc. 

And these notifications can be more dangerous in their distractions when they pop-up during a commute on a high-speed heavy traffic area such as the highway. Whether you look at the screen to confirm what’s coming next or to ensure that you’re not missing the next turn, over-reliance can easily lead to a crash. After all, it only takes a second for an accident to occur.

Tips to avoid GPS-Related accidents when using GPS navigation apps 

GPS navigation apps can be helpful but in the interest of preventing an accident, make sure to avoid paying too much attention to the navigation screen. Tips you can follow to safely use your navigation app include the following:

  1. Program your GPS before you embark on your journey so your eyes can stay focused on your primary task.
  2. Have your passenger play co-pilot, watching out for traffic signs and pedestrians, and answering those pop-up notifications for you.
  3. If you feel that your app is directing you to the wrong route, don’t try to tinker with the interface while driving; pull over to a safe location first. 
  4. If possible, drive to the desired destination a day before so you know what to expect in terms of traffic flow, road congestion, and any unusual obstacles that the GPS might neglect to warn you about.

Important as GPS navigations apps are, don’t forget to apply your own abilities as well. Use your eyes, mind, ears, and drive defensively

Filing an injury claim after a GPS-related accident 

After a GPS-related car crash, you may have questions regarding liability and compensation and it’s obvious that you will have a lot to deal with, from piling medical bills and lost wages to physical impairment and pain & suffering. The good news is that you may be able to recover all these and other damages resulting from the accident. 

Our team of experienced car accident attorneys understand laws regarding distracted driving accidents. If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone’s negligence behind the wheel, the Houston car accident attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP are ready to help. Call us today at (832) 844-6700 for a free initial consultation to understand your legal options and how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.