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Can another driver blame their GPS after an accident?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Auto/Truck Accidents

You may get into a car accident with a driver who says that they are not at fault. Instead, they may blame their GPS. Maybe it told them to turn into oncoming traffic, for instance, and they caused an accident. Maybe it told them to drive the wrong direction down a one-way road.

Is this a valid complaint? Can another driver actually blame their GPS and say that an accident wasn’t their fault?

Using reasonable care

Drivers are required to use common sense and reasonable care when behind the wheel of a vehicle. They are in charge of all of the choices that they make. GPS can give them advice or instructions, and that makes it a useful tool. But it is not in control of the car at any point. The driver is.

Say that a driver pulls up to a red light. The GPS may simply tell them to “turn left now”. It’s clear that the driver still needs to obey the rules of the road, either waiting for cross traffic to clear or following the instructions of a green arrow. But if the driver simply pulls forward immediately upon being instructed, they may say the GPS told them to make the turn at the wrong time. The truth is that they made a mistake and did not follow basic traffic laws (nor did they yield to common sense).

It may sound a bit far-fetched that something like this would cause an accident, but there are plenty of examples of that happening. Even pedestrians have been hit when using GPS directions to figure out where they can walk. In other cases, drivers have used outdated maps and perhaps turned down roads that no longer exist. Recently, one woman followed her GPS and drove directly into the ocean.

Have you been injured by an inattentive driver?

When using a GPS, the device/software itself will likely instruct the driver to be attentive and to assume responsibility for all actions that they take. Unfortunately, not all drivers do so, and they cause accidents as a result. If you have been injured by someone who followed GPS directions without care, you may be able to seek financial compensation. Consider seeking legal guidance to learn more.