Using a GPS on Your Motorcycle

Beware. Your GPS may be collecting evidence against you. More and more motorcyclists today are using GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to plan trips, get directions, and keep track of miles traveled. However, keep in mind that, if you are in a motorcycle accident, you may be collecting evidence that could be used against you in both a criminal and civil trial.

Most GPS systems allow you to keep track of your speed. As such they can be used as evidence in court.  I have come across jurisdictions which, at the scene of an accident when speed is a question, will seize a crash victim’s GPS, get a search warrant, and download the information pertaining to speed. Such action does more than subject the crash victim to a speeding ticket. It can, if the injured party was speeding, put their ability to collect damages for their injuries at risk. Virginia is a contributory negligence state. (as are both North Carolina and Maryland)  That means that if the party that injured you can show that you were in some way at fault in causing the accident, then your claim can be denied. Speed can be used as a contributing factor to deny an injury claim, even if the other party is more at fault than you.  Even in other states which are comparative negligence states, speed can be used to reduce the amount of your claim if another person injures you.

Now keep in mind that I am in no way suggesting that you should not use a GPS on your motorcycle. I am merely suggesting that if you do, keep in mind that, depending on the system and how you use it, you could be collecting evidence that could eventually be used by the party that injures you to avoid paying for the injuries that they caused.