GPS Devices May Contribute to Car Accidents in Arizona by Wrong-Way Drivers
An ABC15.com article reported that auto accidents stemming from wrong-way driving have abounded in the Arizona region in recent times. Many drivers wonder why there is a seemingly more prominent number of drivers directed the wrong way than ever before and speculate whether GPS devices are to blame for this.
Indeed, one study found that GPS devices could offer incorrect and potentially dangerous directions in dense areas. However, in Arizona, where things are quite spaced, the expectation is that a driver whose full attention is on the road should not be so misguided. So if a person driving in Arizona gets into a car wreck and sustains a severe injury while relying on a GPS application, should we still hold the device responsible?
No matter how advanced GPS technology has become, it is still a guide and can only offer counsel on where to exit the highway. The final driving decision rests solely in the driver’s hands. Therefore, it behoves a driver to give the road their full attention and confirm a GPS device’s instructions by checking signs on the road. Furthermore, if a driver gets into an accident resulting in severe injury while relying on GPS applications, we should question the driver’s ability to respond and judge correctly.
If you or your loved one was in a car wreck resulting in severe injury while relying on GPS applications, you should hold the at-fault party responsible for their negligence. This article discusses all you need to know about getting compensated for your injuries in situations like this and how an Arizona auto accident lawyer can help you.
What is a GPS?
A Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of 24 satellites in orbit and on the ground that can establish a person’s location with near-perfect precision. The military solely used the technology in the 1960s, but by 1983, it became available for public use. In addition to military service, GPS is used for the following purposes:
- Search and rescue;
- Vehicle tracking for commercial fleets;
- Recreational use, such as geocaching;
- Domestic use (where everyday drivers rely on it to move from point A to B)
There is no doubt that GPS technology has been a life-saver for decades. However, the technology will continue being a life-saver if people use it responsibly and combined with a good dose of common sense.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and some drivers end up in embarrassing situations, or worse, life-threatening ones because of their excessive dependence on technology.
Wrong-way driving accidents are largely fatal.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has identified wrong-way driving as a significant source of concern. Because wrong-way driving accidents are usually head-on collisions, injuries tend to be more severe and largely fatal.
Statistics have shown that deaths involving wrong-way drivers increased from an average of 360 a year from 2004 to 2009 to 430 a year from 2010 – 2019, including 500 from 2015 – 2018.
Causes of wrong-way driving accidents
Wrong-way driving accidents usually happen due to driver error. Even if there seem to be contributory factors such as a GPS device misleading the driver, the driver is still responsible for the crash. Other factors that may contribute to wrong-way driving accidents include:
- Drivers under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medications
- Distracted driving
- Drivers unfamiliar with the roadways in that area
- Poorly marked ramps
- Poorly placed signs
- Poor ramp design
- Lack of signs
- Lack of visibility
- Drowsy or tired drivers
- Drivers suffering from mental health problems
- Injuries sustained in wrong-way driving
- Head trauma (concussions and traumatic brain injury, TBI)
Head traumas happen when a person suffers a blow or piercing injury to the head. Injuries like this tend to result in long-term disability and death in severe cases.
Neck, back, and spine trauma
The torque resulting from car wrecks usually impacts the body to cause trauma to the neck, back, and spine. The spinal cord injuries resulting from this impact can be long-term or permanent.
Injuries to the bones of the face, legs, ribs, arms, ankles, and wrists are typical of head-on collisions, and they can be severe, sometimes requiring surgery to repair them.
The risk of a car crash victim sustaining burn injuries is high. They may sustain the injuries either because the vehicle caught fire or came in contact with hot fluids, surfaces, steam or chemicals. The victim may require surgery and skin grafting to avoid permanent disfigurement if severe enough.
Internal bleeding and organ damage
Sometimes, a car crash victim does not present with visible injuries but may be bleeding internally due to organ damage. These injuries can quickly become fatal unless the victim receives emergency medical treatment.
Wrong-way driving injuries may be severe enough to warrant the surgical amputation of the victim’s limb (an arm, leg, finger, toe or other appendages). The resulting disfigurement usually means that the victim will suffer psychological injuries in addition to their physical injuries.
Like internal bleeding, whiplash is an injury to the neck’s soft tissues that typically doesn’t present with visible wounds. The damage may not even present until some days after the accident. Even if the victim was in a vehicle moving as slowly as 15mph, it could happen.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Because wrong-way driving crashes are usually severe, victims typically suffer post-traumatic stress disorder in addition to their physical injuries, necessitating the need for medical counselling.
Getting compensation for your injuries
The severe nature of the injuries sustainable in wrong-way driving means that victims will have a long road of recovery ahead of them if they are lucky. Unfortunately, those that are not so lucky may lose their lives due to the injuries.
So if you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a wrong-way accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical care, wages lost from your inability to work, pain and suffering, to mention a few. However, to receive the full compensation you deserve, you need to identify all liable parties in the accident.
Thus, you need to retain the services of a competent and experienced Arizona wrong-way driving accident attorney. Your attorney will review the facts of your case, show you the merits of the case, and counsel on the best legal action you should take.
Compensation in car accident injuries are also known as damages, and they typically fall into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages compensate you for any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred while getting treated for your injuries. It also covers all income you lost due to your inability to work because of your injuries.
Non-economic damages compensate you for the intangible toll your injuries took on you, such as your pain and suffering, future lost wages, emotional trauma, to mention a few. If you lost a loved one to the crash, your compensation would include loss of support, loss of companionship and others. Your Arizona wrong-way driving attorney can help you with this.
A third type of damage is punitive damage, which is not common. As the name implies, punitive damages are meant to punish at-fault parties for their negligence. Juries typically impose them when they deem the at-fault party’s actions especially malicious or reckless.