GPS Navigation Accidents in New York City

GPS is one of the most innovative and life-changing technological developments of the 21st Century. Many of us use one every day. Our phones have it. Our cars have it. Now even some of our watches have it.

Yes, GPS is everywhere — and for the most part, it’s a wonderful thing. Fewer people get lost or make last-minute lane changes that might have otherwise caused a car crash.

But sometimes GPS gets it wrong, and when that happens, the consequences can be deadly. In fact, car accidents caused by GPS are on the rise, and an emerging field of New York personal injury law is making it possible for accident victims to hold the GPS makers accountable for their negligence.

When you hit the road and ask your GPS to guide you along the way, there is a reasonable expectation that the device will provide safe and reliable instructions. It’s designed to lead you to your destination, not into danger, and the manufacturers make millions of dollars on that premise.

GPS programming sometimes gets sloppy, though. The data may fail to take into account recent modifications to roadways, certain vehicle limitations, or changes in traffic patterns. That’s proven especially problematic here in New York, where car accidents caused by GPS have been well documented during the last few years alone.

The information below will give you an overview of car accidents caused by GPS — how they happen, which parties may be liable, and how our New York City vehicle accident lawyers can help.

How Are Car Accidents Caused by GPS?

Most of the coverage on GPS-assisted collisions has been focused on errant directions that result in calamity. Examples include:

  • Directing a driver into oncoming traffic
  • Failure to recognize a one-way highway
  • Failure to recognize railroad crossings
  • Out-of-date software relying on roadways that may no longer exist
  • Confusing actual roads with bodies of water or unsafe terrain.

GPS also poses a different kind of peril for drivers: distracted driving. Like any other electronic device, GPS requires drivers to at least occasionally divert their eyes from the road. In that sense, it creates a distraction not unlike a mobile device. Indeed, many drivers use their smartphones as a primary GPS.

In a largely bygone era, passengers used paper maps to navigate their drivers. That was certainly less convenient than today’s automated narration, but at least it kept eyes on the road. As today’s drivers study digital maps while they drive, they become more likely to cause an auto accident.

As a matter of fact, GPS may just be the next front in the war on distracted driving.

A New York City Problem: Commercial Trucks, Low Overpasses, and GPS

Nearly a century ago, urban planner Robert Moses designed a system of New York parkways that would be reserved exclusively for passenger vehicles. No big rigs, no heavy commercial trucks, no wide loads. Just cars.

And so it came to pass. Many of Moses’ parkways have overpasses so low that those larger trucks can’t get through.

Unfortunately, some of the most popular GPS systems haven’t read their history books. They aren’t aware of the Moses overpasses — nor do they know which kind of vehicle they’re in — and they’re directing larger trucks right through overpasses that are sometimes as low as just six feet. The drivers, unaware themselves, collide with the overpass. Havoc ensues, sometimes taking a whole day to clear up.

According to one report, commercial truckers have crashed into New York overpasses more than 200 times each year since 2005, and GPS devices were responsible for 80% of those accidents. Now lawmakers are calling for regulations to change that, and personal injury lawsuits are making their way into court with the GPS makers named as defendants.

Ask Our New York City Vehicle Accident Lawyers for Advice

The law on car accidents caused by GPS is new and still evolving. Nevertheless, time limits apply to the claims, so the injured parties need to act now.

As experienced New York City vehicle accident lawyers, we can help you pursue compensation from at-fault parties, which may include distracted drivers, drivers who negligently obey 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, doing everything we can to maximize your financial recovery along the way.

We’ll fight hard for you. Our initial consultations are free, and we won’t charge a penny for our services unless there’s a successful outcome in your case. Give us a call today to learn more or set up a free meeting right away.

Attorney Jared S. Kaplan

Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]

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