For drivers young and old, new or experienced, operating a vehicle should be about driving first, and navigating second. At any stage, the most important thing about driving is to keep completely aware of the surrounding environment. And while a GPS system might be considered somewhat of a distraction, using it properly and following some rules will make for much safer driving.
With a good GPS system, drivers know where they are, and where they are going. The worst thing is to be distracted by looking for street signs and trying to get oriented. The fact is, it’s rare to get lost when the GPS is in use – even when a driver misses a turn, the GPS automatically recalculates the route. After that, it’s easy to get back on track and resume driving with little distraction.
A GPS system also eliminates the need for printed maps. Trying to read a map or map-book while driving is a definite distraction, and sometimes can be dangerous. Even if a passenger is reading the map, and then providing directions, it’s not an ideal situation. Very often, it can get frustrating and self-defeating. A good GPS system does away with all of that, and reduces the stresses.
There are industry studies that show that with GPS, night driving safety is improved. With an in-car GPS unit, drivers experience better awareness at night; in low-visibility conditions; and while driving in bad weather. In fact, a high quality system can be very helpful at night, especially when it comes to turns and ramps. Simply put, the driver gets a preview of the situation ahead.
With GPS, changing lanes doesn’t have to be challenging anymore, particularly in busy multi-lane highways. There’s always plenty of warning when it’s time to change lanes for an upcoming exit. This also applies when driving on unfamiliar roads. Here again, a quality GPS unit will anticipate the route and alert the driver well in advance when it’s time to change lanes, ready to exit.
New drivers should be careful when getting familiar with a GPS system. Using the touchscreen and all of the fancy menu options can sometimes be a distraction. Beginner drivers tend to look at the GPS screen more than they should, so it’s important to be cognizant of this. With or without a GPS device, the most important thing for a driver is to keep eyes and attention on the road.
No driver should be programming or adjusting a GPS unit while driving. Destination data should be input before departure. Cancelling or changing a destination should be done when the vehicle is stopped (at the very least at a traffic light). By any definition, programming a GPS device while moving is distracting and potentially dangerous. There’s no reason to take this type of risk.
For the most up-to-date GPS systems, count on Car Systems Installation for quality in-car systems and professional installation. Call 416.901.5812 to book a custom installation or visit the website at www.carsystemsinstallation.ca .