There was a time not too long ago when you could bet on just about any vehicle’s having a glove compartment overflowing with maps and pens and cassette tapes. While today’s average glove box may still be crammed with writing instruments and cords to connect audio players, few will have any of those classic folding maps that somehow expand to an unwieldy size and rarely go back as neatly as they came out. Using a paper map to figure out directions has been replaced by the Global Positioning System (GPS), and this technology is now a primary function on phones (that used to just make calls) and on watches (that used to just tell time). GPS is certainly an innovative development, but sometimes it’s wrong — and when that occurs, the consequences can be fatal.
If you have been hurt in an accident involving a GPS, or have lost someone you love in such an accident, it is important to contact a GA GPS accident lawyer. The personal injury attorneys at the Mann Law Firm can help by reviewing your circumstances and discussing all available legal options. Call us at (478) 742-3381 or fill out our online form. In addition to cases handled in Macon, we are prepared to handle claims on behalf of clients in Dublin, Warner Robins, Milledgeville and other Georgia communities. We would like to meet with you to discuss your case and we are proud to offer free initial consultations.
Developed from military strategy, GPS use expanded in 1988 when the Magellan NAV 1000 became the first civilian GPS device on the market. GPS is fundamentally a grouping of satellites that work together to provide location information. Currently, there are 24 satellites that circle the Earth twice a day in one of six orbit paths and broadcast radio signals that are picked up by GPS devices (there are also six spares ready to go in case one fails). Once a device knows its distance from at least four satellites, it uses geometry to determine its location on the planet.
According to the FAA, today’s civilian GPS systems are accurate to within 40 feet. Yet, many of us have personal experience with sloppy GPS programming that directs drivers right into danger by failing to recognize a one-way street, out-of-date software showing roads that no longer exist, or even confusing roads with natural formations. GPS-assisted incidents in the news include sending an SUV in Seattle down a boat launch, directing a pedestrian across a busy four-lane California highway, instructing an Illinois driver off of a demolished bridge, and indicating an illegal left-hand turn in New Jersey instead of using the provided “jug handle.”
It seems that we have come to rely on technology so much that we sometimes willfully ignore common sense and follow counterintuitive instructions delivered by the GPS oracles – forgetting that behind the colorful pixels are human programmers who are capable of making mistakes or who may have chosen to put their attention elsewhere into the product, such as faster loading speeds or a lower price point. The potential for unsafe distraction when that authoritative voice tells a driver to do something is huge and often overrides logic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving plays a role in approximately one-quarter of all U.S. traffic wrecks; distracted drivers caused 3,154 deaths and 424,000 injuries in 2013. Engaging with a GPS device takes visual, manual and cognitive attention away from a motorist’s ability to drive. Recently, near Hartsfield Airport, a lost North Carolina man became so focused on his phone’s GPS directions that he made an improper U-turn in front of an oncoming motorcyclist and caused a fatal accident.
While the law on the relationship between GPS technology and car crashes is still evolving, clearly there are some risks to using GPS while driving. If you have been in an accident that you suspect may have involved GPS, you should seek the advice of a Bibb County auto collision attorney. The experienced Macon GPS accident lawyers at the Mann Law Firm can help you pursue compensation from at-fault parties, which may include distracted drivers, drivers who negligently obeyed an obviously errant GPS, or even the device manufacturers themselves. We’ll work with you closely to determine the best grounds for liability in your case; if you have a claim, you can trust that you have a knowledgeable attorney on your side. Get started today with a free, no-obligation case review by calling (478) 742-3381. You can also fill out our online form to discuss the details of your accident and find out your rights. Let us help you.
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