Boston motorist, distracted by GPS, drives onto train tracks

Distracted driving is frequently a cause of vehicle accidents, especially since the growing popularity of GPS devices, cellphones and other electronic handheld devices. While these gadgets have made life much easier in many ways, they have also caused many car accidents resulting in death or serious bodily injury.

A Boston-area motorist is lucky she was not hurt or killed after mistakenly driving her car right onto the MBTA Green Line train tracks. The woman admitted she made the mistake because she was looking at her GPS device and it directed her to turn onto the tracks. The incident happened in Coolidge Corner at about 1 a.m. on Monday.

The 22-year-old woman, a resident of South Attleboro, was questioned by transit police and said that the GPS device had indicated to her that she should make a left hand turn, and that this wound up placing her vehicle right on the tracks. She claimed that another motorist passing by encouraged her to keep driving on the tracks with the intention of exiting at the next available intersection.

However, at one point, the woman decided to put her vehicle into reverse when she began to fear that she could not successfully travel any further on the tracks. This caused her car to get stuck when her wheels started to spin.

Transit police and officers from the Brookline Police Department who were summoned to the scene determined that her actions had not caused any damage to the train tracks. They wrote her a citation to appear in court on charges relating to making an improper left turn, as well as potentially blocking the train. She did not appear injured in any way.

Source: Boston.com, “Woman drives onto T tracks in Brookline while eyeing GPS,” Brock Parker, Aug. 14, 2012