Is it safe to drive with your GPS navigation device mounted on your windshield? There have been quite a few stories in the news concerning the dangerous, sometimes fatal, results of texting while driving. It is easy to become attached to one’s phone. While driving, it takes real self-discipline to ignore a text when it arrives. Studies show that texting while driving is worse than driving drunk, but sadly, it is easy to believe that “I am the exception” and ignore the statistic.
There have been ad campaigns by companies that are trying to make users conscious of the risks of texting while driving. Because of texting, talking on the phone, or even switching the radio to another station, people have gotten in really bad accidents. One second of distraction may result in death. There is a debate about whether having a GPS navigation device in your windshield can be dangerous. If the GPS obstructs your field of vision, you risk getting in an accident. It makes sense.
This writer once almost got in an accident thanks to a stop sign. Believe it or not, the stop sign and I were positioned perfectly in a way that I didn’t see the car coming because the sign obstructed my line of vision. You might not think that a stop sign and a GPS navigation device are the same thing, but remember that it’s not size that counts, but perspective and line of vision. Big objects can be hidden behind small things.
What does the law say? GPS are not illegal, obviously. If you read the instructions, they will tell you to mount it on the windshield or on the dashboard. In Michigan, for example, it’s illegal to mount it where it might interfere with the deployment of the airbags. At the end, the rule of thumb is: if you can view the cars around you just fine, you are probably alright. In some states, having the GPS obstructing your line of vision is illegal. Make sure that your GPS helps you get places without crashing.