Judge Says Navigation Apps Are Lethal, Police Claim Google Maps Is a Must-Have

Navigation apps are here to stay, there’s no doubt about this, as most drivers out there now rely on them more than on anything else to reach their destination more conveniently.
Google Maps on Apple CarPlay 1 photo
Photo: autoevolution
But on the other hand, there’s a years-long debate as to whether drivers should really be using them behind the wheel, even despite the addition of voice guidance and hands-free interaction. Because at the end of the day, navigation apps could be distracting for drivers, especially because some people tend to take their eyes off the road and look at the screen to figure out which way to go.

Research conducted by British company Rivervale Leasing last year revealed that nearly 1 in 2 drivers think that infotainment capabilities such as augmented reality navigation and traffic alerts (like those offered by Waze and Google Maps) are distracting when they drive.

And what’s worse, 38 percent of the respondents say they would rather use the physical buttons rather than turn to voice commands.

This is what has prompted an Irish judge to recently call navigation software and devices “lethal in a case where a lorry driver smashed into another truck when interacting with the sat nav.

Driving by sat nav is common but lethal,” the judge said.

But on the other hand, police often recommend drivers to actually turn to such apps, especially to find the route they’re supposed to use easier.

Earlier this week, for example, police officers in the City of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, prompted drivers to turn to the likes of Waze and Google Maps to deal with the updated traffic plans during this time of the year.

Waze and Google both understand what our traffic pattern is and they’ll take into consideration which roadways are closed to get a motorist to and from their destination,” Capt. Joey Crosby of the Myrtle Beach Police Department has been quoted as saying.

At the end of the day, however, users are the only ones that can settle this dispute especially because they carry the responsibility when getting behind the wheel. Fortunately, tech giants too are investing more and more in navigation solutions, hoping the level of distraction would be substantially reduced in the long term.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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