When pilots are being trained, they are often told, «First you fly, then you fly.» This is good advice for flying as well. and for driving a car (in the phrase «aviation replacement»). This is a reminder worth repeating to yourself if you find yourself distracted while driving. Your first and most important job is to stay aware of your environment and keep your vehicle where it belongs.

Car GPS is a potential distraction, and “distracted driving,” as safety experts call it, is a common cause of accidents. However, in general you are a much safer driver if you use your car GPS wisely and follow some basic rules.

Reasons why you are safer with GPS

  1. You know where you are going. Being lost and/or distracted while trying to see road signs and navigate is a significant and dangerous distraction. you rarely get lost in use GPS and even if you miss a turn, the GPS will automatically recalculate the route and get you where you need to be with minimal stress and distraction.
  2. You don’t have to deal with cards. Processing and reading maps while driving is a feat we’ve all undertaken, but it’s a distraction. Even if the passenger reads the map and gives directions (it’s not always smooth sailing, is it?), you’re better off with a GPS.
  3. GPS improves driving safety at night. Not often discussed, but in our opinion one of the best features car GPS is the fact that it provides better road awareness at night and in poor visibility conditions. At night, and especially when driving at night in bad weather, the GPS will tell you and show you the upcoming turn, ramp, etc. long before you can see it. On dark country roads, the GPS map will show you what’s ahead.
  4. You know which lane to get into. One of the challenges of driving on unfamiliar and busy multi-lane highways is knowing which lane you’ll need for your upcoming exit. A quality text GPS receiver will tell you the correct lane in advance.
  5. security features, such as speakerphone, special buttons help which show the nearest police, hospital, garage and more.

What to avoid

  1. Be especially careful not to be distracted by the GPS if you are a beginner. That cool new touchscreen, all those menu options, don’t let them take your eyes off the road. Beginners tend to look at the screen much more than they should. Be especially careful following the tips below when you learn how to use GPS.
  2. Do not program the GPS while driving. You’ll find this rule in all GPS safety guides and home screen text, and for good reason. Enter your destination before leaving. If you need to cancel or change your destination, stop at a safe location and stop, or wait at traffic lights and reprogram. Some car GPS navigators have additional settings that prevent you from entering an address while the car is in motion.

More Tips

  1. Learn to rely on voice guidance. Rely primarily on voice guidance and occasionally look at the map (like a speedometer or other instrument) to confirm or preview turns.
  2. Install GPS away from important sight lines. It’s usually easy to position your GPS low and close to the dash and out of key driving lines.

Just remember, you fly (or drive) first and then move on as a second priority. You must use your GPS in a way that enhances rather than interferes with safe driving.

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