How does using a GPS count as distracted driving?

| Apr 27, 2021 | Distracted Driving

The use of a GPS to guide you to your destination is one of the great benefits of modern electronics. Still, like any tech, you should use it responsibly. Many drivers may not realize that using a GPS while driving may count as distracted driving and could lead to a serious auto accident. 

If you want to avoid letting a GPS harm your driving, you should know why a GPS distracts drivers in the first place. Idrivesafely provides some background explaining how a GPS keeps a driver from paying full attention to the road. 

Programming a GPS is like texting

The problem with programming a GPS is that it is no better than texting while you drive. You still have to take a hand off the wheel to punch directions into the GPS. Also, you divert some of your cognitive attention from the road as you look at your GPS. Even lowering or muting the GPS sound can distract you for a crucial moment. 

You might have voice recognition technology in your vehicle that allows you to program your GPS by speaking to it. This may diminish the risk of distracted driving but not completely. The act of concentrating on your GPS can still constitute a distraction. Even cognitive distraction could prove hazardous at a crucial moment. 

Reacting to your GPS can cause accidents

Sometimes a GPS does not produce instructions in enough time for you to take the right turn. As a result, you might follow the instructions too late and end up in a dangerous situation. Some drivers also incorrectly interpret what a GPS tells them. They end up turning into the wrong lane or exit or shifting too quickly and colliding with another vehicle. 

A GPS can still be a valuable tool. To avoid a preventable collision, you may have to ask a passenger to program it for you so that you can devote your attention to the road where it should be.