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GPS Navigation Systems Enhance Safety

Apr
28
2006

There has been lots of chatter recently about the safety of GPS navigations systems. Some reports have said the devices can be dangerous because the driver becomes distracted by the GPS screen.

Certainly there are some instances when a GPS navigation device could impact safety, however overall I feel they are an asset to safety. The PND (Portable Navigation Device) helps me focus on driving instead of focusing on navigating.

“With turn-by-turn voice prompts and point-to-point visual mapping, GPS navigation systems allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road rather than worrying with folding and unfolding maps.” – Gary
Shapiro, CEA’s president and CEO

Unfolding and refolding maps as you travel can be very distracting. Further every time you glance over to the map you need to zoom your focus in and determine your position on your own. This takes a good amount of time. GPS systems are always tracing your route.

With paper maps you you often only figure out what your next turn is… you will need to guesstimate time and distance yourself. A PND will do this work for you as well as remind you of upcoming turns.

Lost drivers are dangerous drivers, but my navigation system lessens last minute maneuvers and if I miss a turn it immediately re-routes to get me to my final destination. I have an increased feeling of safety and am a more confident driver because of my in-vehicle navigation system.” – Rob, a Financial Advisor from Digital Driver

This is a great point. I’ve found GPS navigation systems take the navigation aspect of driving out of the picture. The PND allows me to focus on driving, not navigating. It takes the stress out of driving on unfamiliar roads. Should I miss a turn (which almost never happens anymore) the PND will automatically show me how to get back without stress.

There are some safety tips to keep in mind though. Enter addresses and destinations before the car starts moving. Often the GPS needs a few seconds to calculate your current position anyway, so use this time to have the GPS plan your route before moving your vehicle.

Us the “favorites” feature on your GPS. Even if you think you will only use that address or destination once, enter it into your favorites in case you make an unscheduled stop and need to plan your route again.

If you need to change a setting on your GPS, stop your vehicle first. Or, ask a passenger to operate the GPS for you. The good news is that once you set your initial route you won’t likely need to touch the GPS again.

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