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Overconfidence can cause GPS-related accidents

Do you remember the first time you ever used a GPS device to find your way? You were probably very skeptical. The technology, now so common that it's built into most new vehicles, was once unproven and new. It certainly sounded good, but people were hesitant to trust a computer system.

Over time, though, you likely became more and more confident. Each time that you successful arrived at your destination, you trusted the device just that much more.

While this is natural, experts do warn against becoming overconfident. They say this is one of the leading causes of GPS-related accidents. People trust the device to a fault, even to the point that they may ignore or overlook very obvious indicators that something is wrong.

For example, perhaps you haven't updated your GPS in a few years. While most roads will be the same, a small road may have been changed from a two-way street to a one-way street. Your GPS may not know. It could then instruct you to take the street in the wrong direction, trusting outdated information. If you blindly follow it, driving past the "Do Not Enter" signs, you could be involved in an accident.

This is simply one example, but there are other dangers. As helpful as a GPS can be, for instance, it can also distract a driver with audio and video directions. It's a tool that must be used properly and safely.

When another driver makes a mistake and causes an accident, citing the GPS directions does not remove the fault from that driver. If you're injured in the wreck, be sure you know if you have a right to financial compensation.

Source: How Stuff Works, "Do car GPS devices cause accidents?," Maria Trimarchi, accessed June 09, 2017

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