Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Should I trust the insurance adjuster?”
Though we have all heard about the dangers of texting while driving, many may not realize that other activities, such as mapping while driving, can be just as deadly. The Department of Transportation has decided to publicize the dangers of mapping behind the wheel and is even seeking legislative approval to regulate those companies that make mapping software.
The issue of mapping behind the wheel is not only potentially dangerous, but actually a legal question. In some states, mapping is not among those activities specifically prohibited. Instead, laws are designed to target texting, emailing or even placing phone calls, but may not actually address mapping.
A recent case out of California brought this issue to light; after a driver was cited for distracted driving and later won an appeal of his case. The judge decided that the law did not cover mapping and so his ticket was thrown out of court. The court decided that only if the person had engaged in dangerous or reckless driving, by swerving out of the lane of traffic, could the cop have properly issued a ticket.
Some in the industry believe that mapping presents all the same dangers that texting does. To use Google Maps, Yahoo or Waze, a driver needs to devote his or her attention to the screen of their mobile phone, taking the eyes off the road in front of the car. Though the programs are meant to be simple to use, even short distractions can prove deadly. That is why the Department of Transportation says it wants the authority to regulate these mapping products.
The DOT believes that creating uniform rules about how the maps should run and how easily the programs should be accessed will help improve safety for all motorists. There is an ongoing debate by those in the tech industry about whether mapping on cellphones is too dangerous and whether such products should shift to larger and easier to read screens that are located in the dash of vehicles, a better position for drivers to keep their attention on the road.
The battle will continue to be fought in Congress and legislatures across the country. Until the matter is decided officially, safety experts urge motorists to be careful when driving, refraining from mapping or any other action that might prove distracting.
If you, or someone you know, have any questions regarding personal injury claims, please feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys and lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation. Call at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
About the Author:
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
“Can using navigational apps be as dangerous as texting and driving?,” published at CBSNews.com.
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