Nowadays, more drivers rely on the Global Positioning System or GPS to guide them through unfamiliar areas. While GPS can be a great tool for drivers who do not know their way around or that become lost in unknown areas, some may not recognize the risk of relying too heavily on the system.
According to the CDC, whenever a person takes his or her mind or eyes off of the road it is potential for distracted driving.
Distracted driving kills nearly 3,000 people per year and injures 400,000 people. A visual distraction completely takes your eyes from the road. While most navigation devices read the directions out loud, it is common for a driver to glance at the GPS occasionally, to ensure that he or she stays on the right path. Any time a person’s eyes leave the road there is potential for an accident.
In many cases, the GPS reads the driver the directions and he or she can focus on the road ahead. Unfortunately, if the GPS gives faulty directions or if the directions become confusing in any way, the driver must pay attention to the system, rather than the road itself. Cognitive distractions involve any distraction that can potentially take your mind off driving.
Drivers should never take their hands off the wheel to fiddle with other devices. Manual distractions include sending text messages, eating and using your navigation system while driving. If you need to change your route, you should never alter the route while behind the wheel. Before you need to change routes or adjust your GPS, you should stop the vehicle safely so that there are no distractions.