GPS means SOS in car accident wave

by Jim Adler

We often think progress is measured by technological advancement. After all, many of our cars now have a GPS, or global positioning system, which helps us to navigate anywhere in the world. Via satellite links, a GPS can provide digital mapping info and automated voices to direct us from anywhere to just about anywhere else.

But is that truly progress? At least, can it be progress when many such GPS devices are faulty and lead drivers virtually over a cliff, or going the wrong way down a one-way street, or into a narrowing street in which they’ll be stuck?

That’s what’s been happening in America and Europe lately. In Britain, where GPS wrecks are big news, it’s believed that thousands of car crashes have been a result of a GPS device failing to do the job it claims to do. In France, an elderly man on a busy highway was told by his GPS to make an immediate U-turn — which didn’t go well. And in New York, GPS misguidance has caused many crashes, including that of a man who was told by his GPS to turn right — and that took him right over railroad tracks. The car got stuck, and he got out, but a train smashed his vehicle.

Whoever designed and marketed such a device surely didn’t have that in mind. A GPS is supposed to be safe and helpful, but in reality some are unsafe — and there’s no gray area or middle ground when it comes to safety. If a GPS gives a lost, frantic driver last-second advice which proves to be dangerous, who’s to blame?

It could be the companies which are producing and selling such tools without fully vetting them, just as pharmaceutical companies often are able to unleash drugs on the American public before they’ve been adequately confirmed as non-harmful. Who suffers? The consumers. Who should pay for such suffering? The negligent companies that caused it.

Now, you can always try to pin the entire blame in a GPS accident on a driver who perhaps was paying more attention to the GPS than to his eyeballs. But a GPS is supposed to perform flawlessly, eliminating the need for constantly verifying each move it dictates by assessing the immediate environment. Drivers either can place their trust in such devices, or they shouldn’t.

Perhaps they shouldn’t, but people are still spending hard-earned money on a GPS in hopes it will perform as advertised, while many fail to do so. And even an unerring GPS can be distracting, by flashing maps and barking instructions while a driver is trying to assess road conditions, traffic patterns and other elements of navigation with which it can’t assist.

Yet these glitchy gadgets are proliferating, with an estimated 7 percent of America’s 220 million vehicles equipped with a GPS.

With that in mind, should you or a loved one suffer harm in a car accident or auto accident due to a defective GPS device, alert a personal injury lawyer or car accident lawyer with Jim S. Adler & Associates. The long-established Texas law firm offers a free case review, and it can provide you with clear directions on how to proceed on a legal path toward full and fair financial recovery.

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