Long gone are the days of unfolding giant maps or printing off Mapquest directions to figure out how to get where you’re going. As more people have become reliant on a GPS navigation system for directions, it’s important that we’re also learning how to use these devices safely.
Here are a few tips for drivers who use a GPS.
Set it up sooner
The number one rule to always follow if you intend to use a GPS navigation system is to pull up the directions before turning on your vehicle or beginning to drive it. Many drivers feel familiar enough in their home neighborhood to plug in navigation information after they’ve already started driving.
Typing in addresses involves taking your eyes and attention off of your surroundings, which can easily lead to an accident. You should always set up your directions ahead of time and preview the route to get an idea of where you are headed.
Another big mistake drivers are making is holding their cellphone or navigation device in order to follow the directions. This is dangerous for a few reasons.
First, it can be very easy to drop the device. Suddenly, you won’t know where you’re going and could be tempted to take your attention off the road to find the device.
Next, holding a device like this prevents you from keeping both hands on the steering wheel. If road conditions become hazardous or you need to take sudden action to avoid an accident, your grip would be limited.
To go hands-free, Texas residents can use:
- A mount to hold the device (windshield or dashboard suction cup mount)
- The navigation system in the deck of the vehicle (if equipped)
- The helping hand of a passenger
Texas lawmakers are proposing a bill that would make it illegal to handle a cellphone or another electronic device while driving.
In addition to making sure your GPS use is hands-free, you should also try to limit how often you need to look at the screen to follow the directions.
By making sure the “voice” option is enabled and turned all the way up, you can keep your eyes forward and look for road signs to make your next move.
A driver who is negligent about the way they use their GPS can be an extreme danger to our roads. If you are involved in an accident, the other driver’s GPS use may prove their fault in the crash.
By working with a skilled attorney, you can recover medical expenses and other injury-related costs from a driver who did not use GPS safety practices.