Beware. Your GPS may be spying on you

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 an accident, you may be collecting evidence that could be used against you in both a criminal and civil trial.

Many systems allow you to keep track of your speed. We at the law offices of Tom McGrath 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. As a matter of fact, that was currently done in federal court in a case along the Blue Ridge Parkway when a park ranger pulled in front of a motorcyclist whom the parkway ranger later claimed was speeding. That case is still in litigation.

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. That means that if the party who 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.

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.

If you have any further questions or comments concerning this article or any other matters concerning your rights as a motorcyclist in Virginia, please contact me at 1-800-321-8968 or at

The preceding is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The laws governing the above may be different in your state.

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