Using a GPS to get directions can be helpful, but looking at a GPS or another phone navigation app on your cellphone while driving is dangerous. Use of a cellphone—including a GPS—is a form of distracted driving and one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the risk of a collision is two times greater when a motorist is engaged in any visual or manual cellphone task.
Can You Use a Cellphone While Driving in Kansas and Missouri?
The laws on whether a driver can use a cellphone are different in Kansas and Missouri. In Kansas, adult motorists can talk on a hand-held phone, but are banned from texting and using a cellphone or other electronic device to read, write, or send an electronic communication.
Missouri is one of the few states where it's not illegal to text while driving. There's no ban on the use of cellphones for adult drivers. However, a motorist looking at a GPS app on his cellphone can still be found negligent if this was the cause of an accident.
What Are the Dangers of Using a GPS While Driving?
There are three ways distractions affect a person’s driving abilities: manual, visual, and cognitive. The use of a GPS or other phone navigation app involves all three of these dangers:
Unless a GPS or other phone navigation app responds to verbal commands, which isn't the case with most apps now, using a GPS requires a driver to take their hand(s) off the steering wheel while typing in an address or pressing the “Start” button.
When a person is putting in an address or looking at the route on a GPS, their eyes won't be on the road. If they're looking at a GPS for approximately four seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour, they'll have traveled the distance of a football field without knowing what's happening on the road.
Another danger of a GPS is that it takes an individual's mind off driving—one of the biggest dangers of being distracted behind the wheel. A motorist could be focused on figuring out directions or trying to follow the GPS’s rerouting instructions instead of concentrating on driving.
How to Prove the Driver Who Caused the Accident Was Using a GPS
You'll need the assistance of a skilled motor vehicle accident lawyer to prove the negligent driver was using their GPS or another navigation app at the time of your crash. Your attorney can get the phone records through the service provider and have the phone examined by an expert witness to determine how it was being used in the moments leading up to the wreck. It's important to hire an attorney as soon as possible so that they can obtain the evidence you need while it's retrievable.
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