Judge Says We Shouldn't "Map and Drive"

Automakers think they are so damn smart. They know that distracted driving can lead to accidents, so they think it is clever of them to lock out certain navigation functions while the vehicle in motion. This has to be one of my biggest gripes with automakers when it comes to non-regulated controls. There are no laws against operating the nav system, it just makes the Toyotas of the world look like they are thinking of your best interests. That is a load of crap. For 99% of drivers that own these vehicles (we're using hard data, of course) the moment the vehicle locks you out of the nav system, what do you do? You whip our your smartphone and use its navigation application. Now you are more distracted than you were before. This seems to be a decent solution for those locked out of the navigation by their car, and is the only navigation option for those with older cars. But a US appeals court in California has ruled that checking Google Maps while driving is a no-no: "Because it is undisputed that appellant used his wireless telephone while holding it in his hand as he drove his vehicle, his conduct violated Vehicle Code section 23123, subdivision (a)." So here's a helpful tip. Apple Maps and the latest version of Google Maps both provide turn-by-turn navigation. Load up the route, place it somewhere secure in your center console and then head off on your trip. You can look at the device without touching it, and California has not passed legislation citing where you can and can't look…yet!