Is The GPS At Fault?
You’re in an unfamiliar area just following what the GPS is instructing you where to go. It’s something that millions of drivers have been programmed to do. Turn on the car, type the address into the GPS and let it guide you to your destination. You don’t even think to double check if the GPS is accurate or where its actually taking you. You just go.
With a two second warning the GPS tells you to turn right. And so you do. You don’t think about it. You just turn. And then it happens. You collide with several parked cars, damaging your car in the process. Was it your fault? Or was it the fault of the GPS?
In the United States alone, there are well over 200,000 accidents per year attributed to the fault of GPS systems. Those faults range from the GPS having inaccurate information, having outdated information or just very distracting to the driver. Just a few years ago, an Illinois driver following the directions of an outdated GPS drove off a demolished bridge at night.
Now crashing off a bridge is a very isolated and extreme incident. And, most likely could have been prevented had the driver not been distracted by said GPS. Although the GPS did provide outdated information, the driver was ultimately responsible for being aware of the road conditions.
As to the scenario above where the GPS told you (the driver) to turn right and you collided into several parked cars, even if that street being turned into was marked one way and the GPS clearly gave faulty instructions…you would still be liable for damages. The GPS is a tool. And with all tools we the user need to understand how to use such tool or when to ignore the use of that tool.
If you’re that inattentive driver and you’re relying on the GPS to direct you where to turn, it’s still your responsibility to accept or ignore the GPS directions. Is what the GPS is telling you safe? If so, proceed. If not, what options are available. If you, as the driver, take actions that clearly violate the law, you will be held liable of any injuries or deaths caused by those actions.
Now if the GPS failed or malfunctioned in some way and it can be proved that it was manufactured or programmed wrong and it was indeed those defective elements that caused the injuries we can pursue a negligent lawsuit against the manufacturer. And if the manufacturer knew about the defects but did nothing to correct it or did nothing to warn consumers of the danger, then a claim could be pursued. A manufacturer has a duty of care to ensure the safety of their products and under federal consumer protections laws can be held liable if their products cause harm.
The Law Offices of David W. Holub is a personal injury law firm located in Merrillville, Indiana, focused on providing efficient and effective client-centered representation. Our mission is to provide top-quality legal representation. This mission includes an uncompromising pursuit of our client’s legal interests while being accessible and attentive to our clients during times of personal challenge.
The firm concentrates on personal injury cases, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. We work tirelessly to serve each client aggressively and with empathy, to communicate regularly and clearly, and to obtain prompt and favorable results while adhering to a high standard of excellence and integrity. Our team considers it a high honor to be called upon to serve our clients, whom we often regard as friends. Call our number (219)736-9700 for assistance today.
*If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. And read “Fighting For Truth: A Trial Lawyer’s Insight Into What It Takes To Win,” an entertaining and enlightening book pulling readers into the courtroom, giving them a glimpse of the legal process and what it takes to win at trial.