Have you been injured in a car accident?

Our Car Accident Help site is designed to be a one-stop source for anyone who has suffered personal injuries in a car crash. It is also a helpful resource for someone whose loved one has been injured in an Oklahoma car crash. Speak to one of our representatives at (405) 285-4357 if you have any questions, or fill out our form to get your free, instant, no obligation accident analysis. We have Oklahoma car accident attorneys on staff who know the law and can defend your rights.

blog Dangerous Products Say Hello to Navigation System Distraction

Say Hello to Navigation System Distraction

By Car Accident Help on March 3, 2018

driving-distracted-car-phone-navigation-863123_1920With the widespread use of GPS navigation systems, it’s no surprise that they sometimes cause accidents.

GPS is available in the form of a standalone portable device, as an app on most smartphones, and as a standard feature installed in new vehicles. People are gradually becoming more dependent on navigation systems, and “blindly” following the directions may lead to major problems.

When People Follow Bad Directions

Here are three actual incidents where drivers ended up in dangerous situations because of GPS navigation:

  • Several students visiting Australia from Tokyo were using GPS for directions and ended up in Moreton Bay. They were attempting to follow a channel route that connected two islands when they became stuck in some water. Yuzu Noda said the GPS indicated there was a pass-through road ahead. They incurred $1,500 in rental car charges due to the water damage.
  • Three women were driving a Mercedes SUV in the Seattle area following GPS instructions. They were routed down a path that was actually a boat launch, and their tires quickly sank into the muddy water. No one was injured, but responders from Mercer Island were needed to recover the vehicle.
  • Lauren Rosenberg was on foot in Park City, Utah, following directions on Google Maps that led her into a four-lane highway stretch. She was hospitalized after a collision with an oncoming vehicle, and she filed a lawsuit against Google for providing “reckless and negligent directions.”

But are the directions the problem, or is it the distraction they provide to the driver?

When Navigation Systems Distract Drivers

A recent study conducted at the University of Utah analyzed the many features built into vehicles to see how distracting they were. Professor David Strayer looked at SatNav, MP3 players, radios, and a host of other features. He found that the most distracting task was programming a navigation device, followed by text messaging, and fiddling with audio devices.

Auto manufacturers are increasingly adding new technology to their vehicles, often with the intent of making them safer—which isn’t always the outcome. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in Heathrow, Florida, conducted a study involving 30 new vehicles from the 2017 model year. Drivers were asked to use various in-car technologies. AAA found that some participants using voice and touch-screen devices had their eyes off of the road for nearly 24 seconds. Those who were programming navigation systems took up to 40 seconds to complete the task. As the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s data shows that the chances of a crash are doubled when a driver’s eyes leave the road for merely two seconds, this is alarming.

When GPS Contributes to Accidents

map-2789052_1920It is difficult to determine the number of crashes that can be attributed to navigation distractions. GPS is often touted for its ability to reduce crashes—supposedly, drivers will avoid fumbling to read a map, and be less likely to make wrong turns. Navigation systems are becoming more sophisticated by offering digital imagery and responsive “real-time” traffic data (like the app Waze). The problem? Drivers are spending more time looking at their GPS than the road ahead. And as we saw up above, drivers increasingly trust the accuracy of this data, which may not be totally up to date on construction projects, roadway changes, temporary closures, etc.

When You Can Sue for a Faulty Navigation Device

John E. Woodward wrote about some legal aspects of accidents attributed to driver navigation systems. Did the unit miscalculate due to a software, hardware, or satellite problem? Could inaccurate GPS directions lead to a potential product liability claim? A semi-similar case was brought in Saloomey v. Jeppesen & Co. The plaintiffs were survivors of a flight that crashed, and they brought a claim against Jeppesen, which makes charts for pilots to use. The chart the pilot was relying on said an airport ahead had certain landing technology, which it did not. Based on that information, the plane crash-landed. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals found Jeppesen liable, because the seller assumed responsibility for its products.

Consider a scenario where a GPS maker is facing a claim from a driver who was injured after following inaccurate directions. Woodward suggests the GPS maker could claim “comparative fault,” saying the driver shares responsibility in the accident. Perhaps the driver continued following the directions although street signs contradicted the information? However, we expect to see more claims like this as GPS-related accidents become more common.

As a driver, you may have difficulty proving such a claim if you were following the directions “blindly.” This could be considered product misuse: using the device in a different manner from how it was intended to be used by the manufacturer. When you’re driving, keep your main attention on the road! If you need to reprogram that nav device, pull over. Then you should be safer.

Vehicle manufacturers face a growing problem as they continue to add autonomous technology to make their vehicles more appealing. The more distractions available for a driver, the more accidents we will continue to have in Oklahoma. To find out if you have a claim against a vehicle manufacturer after your accident, feel free to speak with Car Accident Help at (405) 285-4357.

Related Articles:

Posted in: Dangerous Products


Recent Posts

Don’t Wreck Twice

You’ve Already Wrecked Your Car, Now DON’T Wreck Your Case! Get your FREE instant download to learn EXACTLY what you need to do so that you don’t wreck twice!

Download Now

Don’t Wreck Twice

You’ve Already Wrecked Your Car, Now DON’T Wreck Your Case! Get your FREE instant download to learn EXACTLY what you need to do so that you don’t wreck twice!
Download Now

Car Accident Help
15401 N. May Avenue
Suite 900
Edmond, OK 73013
Call: (405)-285-4357

Copyright © 2021 Car Accident Help - All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: This web site is designed to provide educational information. The information contained in this web site is not intended to offer legal advice. Information contained in this web site is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice, to any person reviewing such information. No electronic communication with Car Accident Help, or any employees thereof, will generate an attorney client relationship, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. Any reference in this web site to past results for clients obtained by Car Accident Help, including reference to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, does not guarantee that similar outcomes will be achieved for future cases. Each case is different, and must be evaluated and handled based on its individual attributes and merits.

Disclaimer | Blog Sitemap | Website Design, SEO and Legal Marketing by: SLS Consulting

Sponsored by:

About the Author

Attorney L. Ray Maples II wrote Don't Wreck Twice with the intent of offering guidance and information to vehicle wreck victims. The book provides answers to some of the most important and frequently asked questions following an Oklahoma vehicle collision, which will be an invaluable resource to those involved in auto accidents.