Cell Phone Dangers While Driving Even Using GPS Navigation.

It is so obvious that cell phone dangers while driving don not use phone gps exists. Not only typing and speaking but even using GPS navigation could lead to the car accident.

This problem is well known, but I became interested after I’ve read the article on the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal regulations related to the ban on the use of phone’s GPS app while driving.

Everyone knows that using a cell phone in handheld mode while driving is illegal and can lead not only to a fine but the serious troubles on the road. I guess that no any country in the world where it is legal.

The real situation in each country is slightly different, but people are becoming more conscious and use a hand-free device.

I have traveled by car through many European countries as well have had to drive in Australia and the USA a little.

Speaking about Europe the situation quite drastically different.

When it comes to as Latvia, where I live, this ban complies with relatively few motorists and according to statistics, only 20% use hand free tools.

 lack of driving culture, education, and small fines

The main reason by my mind is a lack of driving culture, education, and small fines, only € 15. It is ridiculous as our neighboring Estonia the situation is much better and hard to see anyone  holding the mobile phone while driving and a police ticket can reach up to € 200.gps for car

Well, now we know that holding a cell phone to type and speak is not a good habit, even illegal which could lead to a high police tickets and what is much worse to the car accident and even-even worse the fatal result.

But, what the heck is a reason to count as illegal using of the smartphone GPS navigation application?

Why, according to the same Rhode Island State Law, a “global navigation satellite receiver” that only works as a GPS navigation device is exempted from the statute?

I don’t want to dive deeper into law details but want to find a logic background to such enforcement, and I made a pretty thorough web research regarding facts that distracted driving.

When skipping others, I would like stop to the GPS car navigation.

Whatever we do not disagree, but statistics is relentless, and one of the distracted driving factors is using GPS systems for navigation or reading maps.

How using a smartphone GPS navigation can increase a possibility of an accident and what is the difference of using stand-alone GPS for car or factory-installed dashboard navigation system?

The same question I asked before my research and just using common sense but as I mentioned above the statistic shows that part of road accidents caused by using mobile phones is tied to GPS navigation.

A question could arise what difference of using dedicated GPS device in windshield or dashboard holder vs. iPhone e.g. in the same positions is?

The short answer is practically as a satellite navigation tool no any difference, and even in some situations, the smartphone has more features than regular GPS unit.  One of the main benefits is an internet connectivity with endless resources. But from the other hand, this cool feature could be one of accident reason when GSM reception is lost.

the smallest distraction from the road traffic could lead to troubles.

So far is cool unless we are driving a car. The common truth is that even the smallest distraction from the road traffic could lead to troubles.

Almost all navigation software features include the voice commands which generally speaking guide you how to navigate on unknown streets and roads like „ In two hundred meters turn to the left and keep the right lane .“

 On average, human’s visual memory is stronger than auditory memory, so we often take a look at road map on the screen of the GPS device. Pictures are about the same on smartphone and dedicated GPS device.

receive and make a voice call

Let’s move further. Regardless tons of features of the smartphone, what is the primary function of the phone? Right, receive and make a voice call. Almost none is switching off the GSM reception and drive a car on Airplane Mode.

Sooner or later someone is calling you. What we instinctively do? Correct, we look at the screen to know who is calling. It takes even less than a second but far enough to be on the reciprocal lane or into the ditch. The outcome may well be the saddest.

Most of the stand alone GPS device have not phone calling functions unless not connected wirelessly to the cell phone. Integrated car entertainment system GPS and phone features doing the same and not a big difference when receiving a phone call only if the voice command option can provide a caller’s identity.

Another drawback of smartphone use for GPS navigation, and I guess a much more significant, is a switching off the GPS guidance and even visible driving direction map, during an incoming call.

Stand alone devices as a rule in factory settings are showing the current map and even providing directions during the phone conversation, and it is not necessary to visually distracted from the road.

One more significant drawback of many so popular (Waze e.g.) smartphone GPS navigation apps is a lack of thewaze feature which not allowed any actions with navigation application until a car is not standing still.

Unfortunately, even many dedicated GPS devices are not fitted with such a mode.

I have driven many cars equipped with onboard GPS navigation systems, and none have a lack of such feature. It could seem so inconvenient, but all in all, it is for your and others safety.

Some of the oldest systems offering the passenger mode but almost no way to manipulate GPS screen on latest car models till the car is not at a standstill. Even more, a smart computer does not allow to do it while waiting on the red light or in a traffic jam. So the only way is

So the only way is search for parking place or in another allowed by rules stopping spot.

Actually, it is the way to change or make corrections on your route while driving. When dedicated GPS device have the function of voice command.

Sounds cool, isn’t it?

In reality, this feature is so far from perfect that it could not be used for safe driving. I would say IT Must Be Prohibited at all.

I suppose that many who have tried to use any voice command guided device are often faced with erroneous results. Your dear Siri had made a phone call to ex-wife or your boss in the most inappropriate moment blah, blah.

Do you really think that in the car after pronouncing an address of next important and timely business meeting you will not recheck it visualy?

Bullshit, me and most of everyone else will do it. Only exception could be „drive home“ or „drive to work“ as You will see if things is going wrong way.

Taking into account all above written and unwritten, no wonder why in so many countries and states are made very strict rules about phone use while driving by car.

Using the phone when you’re behind the wheel you can not only get into an accident, but you can also feel the financial impact of such a rule-breaking action.

You could ask, how the police officer can prove that you are in some activity related phone use?

Very simply, holding only one hand on the steering wheel for example.

Nonsense! Not, it is the reality, and it takes a long way to proof of innocence.

Maybe it’s time to consider of changing your habits and let the phone alone until the next stop.

Safe driving and let your loved one say Hello every time you are driving home!

If someone interested in you can look really great stand alone GPS devices.

You can find even more appropriate for your needs but these are good enough for the safe GPS navigation.

I almost forgot one promising device, and it is Navdy HUD.

I did the review about it three months ago. Just is one big BUT? They promised to be on the shelves in August, but even the home page shows nothing just „Comming Soon.“

It could be the perfect solution to escape cell phone dangers while driving.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. Andyboachie

    The statistics provided for your details is every expansive. It tells how conscious governments are becoming about how mobile communications can cause accidents whilst in use.
    I like the flow of your content picking from emphasizing on the dangers both typing and GPS can cause. You did this by formatting it at the beginning.
    I think it will be better if you make the links before the passage stand out clearer text format. It is better when visitors realize that they are links that should be clicked. Once they appear a bit unclear, they can easily ignore them without even looking at them.
    May I know what did you intend to imply when you mentioned driving culture?

    Keep it up!

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks for the meaningful comment!

      Firstly about links.

      Actually, I do not write this post to promote any product but just to face the problem and to draw people’s attention how sad consequences can be when traveling and do not pay full attention to the road. This one GPS device link is just as an example.

      More about solutions how to decrease distractive driving on next posts, Applications to Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents and more.
      When it comes to driving culture, I guess that need to begin from early ages even from kindergarten. Existing scorcher nothing just as high fines or even suspension of driver licence can help. And one more crucial problem is such high corruption in higher levels in every sphere in our society.
      Small salaries for police is another reason for corruptions and bribes and lack of many our driver’s behaviour on the roads.

  2. Anh Nguyen

    Thanks for tackling this small but dangerous issue. Sometimes we can be too “busy” and just had to take that phone call, but it can be very dangerous not only for ourselves but other people as well.

    I didn’t know that you can be fined for holding your phone while driving.

    Unfortunately, it’s not the case in Vietnam where you are actually allowed to drive with your phone on hand which is far from secure.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hello, Anh from Latvia!

      So I was wrong that made an assumption of local regulations about cell phone usage. In Vietnam at least it is legal but in Latvia driver’s behavior is far from the ideal.

      I never been in Vietnam but visited Thailand seven years ago. As I remember and scooter drivers spoke by telephone and the police did not care about it.

      Sorry, I made quick Googling and found the following-
      BANGKOK, 5 August 2014 (NNT) – Motorists will be prohibited from using hand-held cell phones while driving starting today onwards.

      Anyway, statistics are implacable, millions of human loss and injuries all over the world is caused of USING CELLPHONES while DRIVING.

  3. Celeste

    I live in South Africa and our law states that we can use a cell phone device ONLY IF it is NOT being held in your hand or with any other part of your body. So if we are using it as a GPS device we would have to use it with a hands free kit. Sadly most motorists don’t abide by this with very sad consequences. You make some really good points about having your phone as a GPS and should someone call while you are driving this would be a major distraction. If using your phone as a GPS device when driving my solution would be to put your phone on Airplane Mode. Thank you for your article I really think that it will aid in making people more aware of the consequences. Getting behind the wheel is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Celeste and thanks for comment.

      Most of all I like and fully agree what you wrote on the last sentence that DRIVING is a huge responsibility. Exactly, the airplane mode is the only sure way if you want to use the phone as a navigation device.

  4. Courtney

    Thank you for sharing a very important page on a dangerous activity- using cell phones while driving. i will share this page with my daughter who is studying in England . I have driven behind cars that are all over the road because the driver is on the cell.the info about GPS is interesting and new to me but my Island is so small we dont know it but because of the smallness there are no length straight roads.The article needs a little editing; i like to read an article 2 or 3 times before publishing. even then i miss things.I wish there was a device that turns off the phone when the car is in motion.A subject for global discussion there are still countries where it is not yet illegal. Best wishes.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thank You, Courteney, for comment.

      I hope your daughter in the UK do not drive and type. Regardless your island is small and roads are straight even then loosing a second of driving your car could be on the opposite lane.

      When it comes to switching off cell phones while driving, technically it can be done very easily, but do not think that mobile phone manufacturers and cellular network companies are willing to do.

  5. Andrew Limas

    hi im trying to use your article for a research paper! however im having trouble getting your name and date published

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Andrew and thanks for stopping by. Check your e-mail.


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