Distracted driving is more than just texting while driving. Distracted driving can involve any type of behavior that keeps a driver’s attention off driving, such as eating while driving, applying makeup while driving or using a phone app.
One technology that many drivers depend on is GPS.
Here are just some of the reasons why a GPS can be dangerous for drivers:
- The driver may take his or her eyes off the road to look at the phone/device
- The driver may take his or her eyes off the road or his or her hands off the wheel to enter in an address or otherwise interact with a GPS device
- The driver may be distracted when the GPS announces directions
- The GPS system may encourage the driver to use his or her phone for reasons other than managing the GPS
Considering all this, a GPS app may be just as (or even more) distracting than the old-school unfolding of a map while driving-behavior we think of as highly distracting and dangerous.
So how can drivers safely use a GPS?
Drivers should enter a destination before they begin driving and should have a general idea of the route before starting to drive. If adjustments need to be made, the driver should pull over instead of updating addresses while driving. Mounting the phone or GPS device properly can also help drivers avoid looking down while driving.
In general, the driver should avoid taking his or her eyes off the road and remain focused on the task at hand-driving safely.