PHOENIX, ARIZONA – A news article on abc15.com states that there have been dozens of wrong-way incidents this year and some believe GPS devices could be the cause of these deadly collisions.
According to one article contributor, Interstate-17 has been in use for around 50 years, but there have been more wrong-way drivers now than ever before. The contributor stated that he wonders if global positioning systems (GPS) devices are part of why these accidents are happening much more frequently.
Operation Safe Roads decided to investigate the contributor’s idea and they conducted a study to see if a phone’s navigation was directing drivers to take the ‘wrong-way’ route.
According to Ram Pendyala, it is possible that drivers are getting confused when the GPS announcer advises the driver to take a “turn in 1.1 miles, or 80 feet, or 100 feet.” He says it is difficult for some people to judge how far is “1.1 miles or 100 feet and to make that turn accurately” resulting in a wrong turn. Mr. Pendyala is a professor at Arizona State University. He teaches at ASU’s School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. Mr. Pendyala examined the study Journal of Traffic Transportation Engineering the ABC15’s team uncovered.
The Journal of Traffic Transportation Engineering’s study observed that GPS devices can offer inaccurate and potentially dangerous driving directions especially when there was a short distance between an exit ramp and an access point.
Pendyala believes that GPS devices probably do not cause wrong-way driving. However, he does think some drivers simply make an “error in judgment.”
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