Fatal Crash Caused by Driver Using Phone’s GPS System
College Park police report that a man is tragically dead due to a lost driver who focused more on his phone's GPS system than the road ahead. The 39 year old driver and his two children were lost near the airport when he made a U-turn into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist on Sullivan Road. The motorcyclist was killed in the accident. Officers charged the vehicle driver with involuntary manslaughter, illegal U-turn and failure to exercise due care when using an electronic device.
Evidence emerged that the driver, who was visiting Georgia from North Carolina, turned on his phone's GPS to find his way around. He apparently missed a turn and made the quick U-turn to get back to the GPS's suggested route. With his attention on the GPS, he failed to notice the motorcyclist. Police are urging everyone following this fatal crash to not operate their electronic device's while driving. Officers encourage people to pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot or other safe place to obtain directions or perform other functions on your phone. Doing so could save a life, as accidents involving electronic devices are on the rise.
GPS Systems and Distracted Driving Accidents
More and more drivers now rely on GPS systems to navigate while driving. This is especially true for those traveling to new cities for business or pleasure. Many newer cars come pre-installed with a voice automated GPS system, while other drivers use their GPS on cell phones.
While GPS systems are intended to prevent drivers from getting lost and to ensure drivers arrive at their destinations, the use of a GPS can lead to distracted driving. The GPS system on your cell phone or car can pull your focus from the road. What is worse is that many drivers will program their GPS while they drive.
A GPS can be an important tool when used correctly. To ensure your safety while using a GPS device, follow these steps, among others:
Program your GPS before you start to drive—before your vehicle is put into drive, have your GPS set.
Ask for help from passengers in the vehicle—if you need to change your route or find a gas station or other destination along your route, ask a passenger in the car to make the necessary changes. If you do not have a passenger with you, pull off the road.
Keep voice commands on—do not mute your device because it will increase the number of times you need to look at the screen. Instead, listen to your GPS's voice commands and keep your eyes on the road.
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