Racing The GPS
Just about everyone nowadays has a smartphone or integrated GPS on their vehicle dashboard. I would argue that many have used those devices to calculate the distance using a maps app to figure out how long it will take to travel from where they are to where they need to be. And I would also argue that many have tried to “beat the clock” and race against the time the GPS says it will take.
Hi, I’m Indiana Personal Injury Attorney David Holub, now I’m not a betting man, but I have a feeling you have thought about playing the “race the GPS” game. Or you know someone who has, or continues to play the game.
Say you were driving within Merrillville, Indiana and you were traveling from your home to a big box store… you might click the one nearest to you in the GPS app and press GO. The app would tell you the exact streets to take and display how many minutes it takes to get to your destination and the exact time of arrival.
And you or the driver of the vehicle might look at what the GPS displays and either accept it or challenge it.
What if you were planning a long distance road trip and were going to be in the car for several hours, would you stick to the GPS time or drive faster? Many Indianans take a vacation to Florida every year…visiting the theme parks, beaches and gator farms. The distance between Merrillville and Orlando is approximately 1,119 miles and traveling on I-65S and I-75S respectively will take you about 16 hours and 27 minutes to drive that distance according to Google maps.
However Google nor the other GPS maps rarely account for pit stops (fuel fill ups, bathroom breaks, food, etc.) along the way. Just non-stop driving. Based on the time and distance you would need to travel almost 68 miles an hour to achieve the time indicated. If you stopped every 4 hours for fuel, bathroom breaks and food…even if for just 15 minutes each time, that would add an additional hour onto your trip. To account for the lost time, you would need to increase your speed to about 72 mph.
Sadly, those gaming the system would drive 10, 20 even 30 miles over the posted speed limit in order to make up time and keep within the boundaries of the original GPS timeframe.
Let me tell you, it’s not a game. Nor should it be played. Those who do so run the risk of not only being negligent, but could also be held personally responsible for injuries caused if involved in an accident.
And when those accidents occur and injured clients come to me, I ask them questions. And if the car or cars involved had built in navigation or an app that tracks driver metrics we can use that information against the negligent driver.
Some driving apps will give a snapshot of daily, weekly or monthly driving and will report those statistics to you. Let’s use a segment of your road trip to Florida as an example…
- Hard braking – 7
- Hard acceleration – 5
- Late night driving – 36.1%
- Distance driven – 422 miles
- Fuel economy – 24 mpg
- Average speed – 65 mph
- Speed over 80 mph – 13.9%
Let’s take a look at some of those numbers shall we… over a third of the driving occurred after dark and almost 14% of the driving was 80 mph. Well the highest speed limit on I-65S and I-75S is posted at 70mph. So anything over the speed limit is considered speeding and negligent driving. And when you are traveling that fast it makes it harder to stop. Add in the nighttime driving at those speeds and it becomes a potentially dangerous outcome.
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