The global positioning system, a satellite service usually called GPS, has become a familiar tool in our daily driving. But while this navigational system proves useful for numerous car drivers, it may now be a factor in many truck accidents. Specifically, truck drivers’ new habit of relying on GPS may actually be leading them to riskier roads.
GPS-Related Truck Accidents
Various suburbs across Philadelphia – from Phoenixville to Radnor to West Chester – have repeatedly seen a certain type of truck accident: large trucks slamming into overpasses and bridges. These crashes occur despite the existence of road signs warning drivers of a low height clearance.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation suspects that truck drivers today are paying less attention to the road, particularly distracted by smartphones. Further, they may be blindly following their GPS. The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association agrees, noting that there is an increased reliance among truck drivers on turn-by-turn GPS apps that are not designed for large vehicles.
This growing issue is not exclusive to Pennsylvania. Over the last several years, states such as New York and Illinois have been cracking down on truckers who excessively rely on satellite devices. Even the federal government has recognized the problem. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has urged trucking companies and drivers to use specialized GPS units suited for large vehicles.
Car GPS And Truck GPS: The Differences
Just what is the difference between the GPS we use in our cars and the GPS specialized for trucks?
A key distinction is the truck-specific mapping data contained in truck GPS units. In addition to regular routing information, truck GPS contains information on as many as 700,000 miles of truck-restricted roads. These are roads where large trucks are not allowed due to restrictions on height, weight, and or hazardous cargo.
So, for instance, a driver using a truck GPS unit would be specifically warned about a nearby overpass with a low clearance. A regular car GPS app may not include this feature, as regular-sized vehicles do not need this warning.
But the unique and invaluable data in truck GPS comes at a price. While common GPS apps like Waze are available for free, truck GPS units are not. This is why truckers are reluctant to switch to these specialized units.
What This Means For Truck Accident Victims
Distracted driving and failure to obey road signs have always been common causes of truck wrecks. Truck drivers’ reliance on incompatible GPS devices only increases the risk for people sharing the road with these large vehicles.
If you have been seriously injured in a truck crash, and you believe that the truck driver was distracted or on the wrong road, it may be worth looking into his or her use of GPS. Blind reliance on this device may constitute negligence, which might mean that you should be suitably compensated. Talk to a truck accident lawyer about this possibility.
Contact The Brod Law Firm
In Pennsylvania, The Brod Law Firm is known for experienced and skilled handling of complex accident cases. Numerous Pennsylvanians can attest to our effective legal service as well as our thoughtful treatment of each client.
In particular, our firm maintains a keen understanding of the law and related industries, staying ahead of developments such as GPS and trucking device trends.
Your consultation with us is free, so if you have any questions at all about your truck accident, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Use our online contact form or call our law office at 1-888-HELPWIN (888-435-7946).